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2 November 2014 Edition

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Restore Respite Care Grant

A new online petition has also been launched calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Social Protection to ensure that the full Respite Care Grant is restored in the Social Welfare Bill due to be enacted on November 18.

SINN FÉIN has joined forces with a number of carers’ groups to launch an appeal to the Irish Government to reverse cuts made to the Respite Care Grant two years ago. The cut of €325 was part of Budget 2013 and has been described by many of those dependent on it as “cruel”.

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, along with party colleague Mary Lou McDonald TD, invited a number of the carers’ groups to Leinster House on 22 October where they met TDs and senators from all parties.

A new online petition has also been launched calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Social Protection to ensure that the full Respite Care Grant is restored in the Social Welfare Bill due to be enacted on November 18.  

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• Launch of Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget 2015 – Pearse Doherty, Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Many of those signing the petition have described what the payment means to them and their loved ones. 

Kieran from Dungarvan said:

“The cut to Respite Care Grant was a cruel blow to a minority of citizens who could never protest as a group because they are too busy caring. Carers work tirelessly, are healthcare providers, nurses, personal hygienists. They work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Rose from Tullamore said:

“I depend on respite care grant to heat my home for the year and also to take a weekend break (once yearly when on full grant) to recharge my batteries.”

 Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Restoring the Respite Care Grant should have been a priority. In the overall scheme of things we are not talking about a huge sum of money – just €29.6million out of a budget of billions.” 

Sign the petition – www.change.org/p/minister-for-social-protection-restore-respite-care-grant

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