Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
The Taoiseach has not addressed the central point of my question. It has been confirmed by the HSE that between now and early November, there will be a reduction or a restriction on the number of new or additional hours allocated. As I said in the course of my question, this comes at a time when more than 6,000 people are on a waiting list for home care supports.
Very often, as the Taoiseach knows, those will be the only supports afforded to carers. I asked the Taoiseach a simple question and he recited what he regards as his record of support for carers. Carers, of course, will dispute many aspects of that but I am asking him about this particular issue. Will he go back to the HSE management and tell them that it is not acceptable to say to people who are waiting for home help hours that they may not receive any assistance until November? That is months away and anybody who cares for an older person or a person with a disability will tell the Taoiseach that it is not sustainable to ask them to wait for months on end for additional supports. The HSE said it is taking this action because of budgetary pressures but this is a classic case of penny wise and pound foolish.