After the total rejection of the Governments recent carers referendum we had anticipated that the Government would start to look at an appropriate package of measures for carers and people with disabilities that reflect the result of the referendum and  acknowledge the disire for equally demonstrated by the general public during the campaign.

However we are sad to report that the lack of support for carers continues with sly little conditions attached to the recently announced  proposal to a that intends to provide a psenion for carers who had no option to work while providing 24/7 carer .

The Government announced a scheme which will allow a full-time carer to apply for pension contributions and be awarded long -term contributions on your PRSI record for each week a carer provided full-time care to an incapacitated person.

While this new scheme is welcome what is disappointing is that the Minister has denied to exclude people who are receiving a social welfare payment during that period that they have provided full-time care .

The decision to exclude this group of carers is totally unnecessary and a cruel decision by the Government at a time when carers are saving the State €20 billion each year..

There are 1000s of full-time carers who have given a lifetime of care and who have survived on whatever limited social welfare payment they received.Indeed in most cases this payment went 100% towards supporting the full-time care provided and with carer poverty at an all time high the State must  open up the scheme to all carers who have made a significant contribution to the  Governments finances saving the State over €20 billion a year.

This Government must change is attitude to carers and people with disabilities and must do so fast as they appear to be content to see us live below the poverty line while providing a 24/7 365 days a year service which the State are responsible for providing but have failed to do so.

Carers and people with disabilities must unite and demand appropriate supports from this Government and the upcoming elections must be used to demand equal rights and supports without delay.



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