This Tuesdays budget will allow for the expenditure of Billions across Ireland with a surplus of €4.4 billion available.
Carers save the Irish State over € 20 billion a year and we are calling for the inclusion of a significant rises in the Carers Allowance and the removal of means testing for Carers . We have campaigned for years for a living wage for Carers and people with disabilities along with full pension rights and we now demand that this Government deliver on this on tuesday .
While the Government put in place a vast range of financial supports during the Pandemic for everyone , carers and those on the live register where ignored .This Government set €350 a the minimum required to live and now we are looking at a rate of inflation of over 10% this figure will have risen significantly to circa €450..
It is time for the 5 Ministers with disability in their job descriptions to deliver for carers and people with disabilities .
Carers have contributed significantly to Irish society with little or no support from the State saving the State Billions and carrying huge demands during the COVID Pandemic when the State abandoned people with disabilities and their families .
The budget lpresents the Government with an excellent opportunity to support carers and redress the balance.
Don’t Leave them Behind fully endorse recommendations made by NESC for a ‘ participation income for voluntary or unpaid carers .This income could take the shape of a person receiving an income for making a societal contribution ,such as caring .
We have long campaigned for the Carers Allowance to be set at the new living wage level and means tests to be removed from the application process .
This is vital, as carers have enough to deal with on a 24/7 basis and the State need to put in more supports to enable carers both to care and also to allow carers to plan their own lives and if possible return to work .
In Ireland there are now over 4000 carers under the age of 15 according to the CSO with over 500,000 carers in the State The figure for young carers is almost certainly understated as young carers are slow to self-identify as they fear that their maybe a stigma attached to their role .
These carer numbers are increasing significatly year on year and as we discovered in the Pandemic the State rely on this army of carers to take on the State’s own care .responsibilities .
Carers Ireland have calculated that carers are saving Ireland 20 billion euros annually and as the State withdraws from caring this figure will rise during 2021 .
This Budget is an opportunity to support over 500,000 carers with a with a living wage and with a substantial increase in their weekly allowances it also provides the Government with an opportunity to increase disability allowances across the board by at least €20 per week . The must deliver !