As the Government plan this weeks budget with a surplus of €9.6 Billion they should reflect on the figures published below by the CSO as a result of the 2022 census .
Carers and people with disabilities urgently require weekly support of €350 per week , this figure was arrived at by the Government during COVID as the minimum needed to live on for an individual .
The Government must abandon this crazy means testing that is currently preventing 1000s go carers from receiving any support from the State .
.Figures released by the CSO show that the number of unpaid carers increased by 56%to more than 299,000 between 2016 and 2022.With increases in the proportion of the population providing unpaid across most age groups .
People aged between 50 and 59 were the group most likely to be providing regular unpaid care .
The 2022 census pointed out that the number of people reported experiencing at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent or a lot was 407,342 which is a staggering *5 of the population.
Remarkably a further 702,215 ( 14% pf the population ) reported a long-lasting condition or difficulty to some extent .
These nearly 300,000 unpaid carers carrying out 24/7 carer on a 365 day day basis are now saving the Irish Government in excess of 8 billion euro a year and receive no financial support from the State whatsoever .
We are again calling on this Government to remove immediately means testing of the Carers Allowance to support these unpaid carers and must increase this allowance to €350 euro per week to assist these carers as they deliver a 24/7 care support service.
The impact caring makes is significant with the current cost of living crisis ,carers facing unprecedented pressure on their finances with a large number of carers cutting back on essentials like food or heating .
Carer Hardship has risen significantly with unpaid carers most of whom have given up work to care for a loved one and now find that they have zero prospects of ever returning to work and little or no chance of received a pension due to the lack of contributions made by them as a direct result of unpaid caring .
For carers to find themselves in such a difficult situation while at the same time saving the Irish Government nearly €8 Billion a year is a national scandal and needs to be addressed by Government immediately.