Carers’ Association: Budget ‘Will Do Little’ For Carers

The Carers’ Association, the national representative organisation for Ireland’s 161,000 family carers, has expressed disappointment at the Government’s failure to deliver meaningful assistance to Ireland’s family carers in the Budget.

In their pre-Budget submission, the Carers’ Association highlighted that carers’ health is suffering due to the lack of supports and financial assistance.

Yet, Budget 2008 has done very little if anything to address this untenable situation, the association said.

“While moderate increases in the Carers Allowance and the Respite Care Grant will provide a degree of additional support to some family carers, full-time carers who do not receive the Carers Allowance due to stringent means-testing are still left without any financial reward following today’s Budget,” said Enda Egan, CEO of The Carers Association.

“These increases will do very little to address the real difficulties experienced by Ireland’s family carers, who currently provide over 3.5 million unpaid hours of care every week and contribute over €2.1bn to Ireland’s social economy.”

Budget 2008 announced a moderate increase in the Carers Allowance from €200 to €214 for those caring for a person under 65 and €218 to €232 for those caring for someone over 65, which has been welcomed by the Carers’ Association.

The Carers’ Association also welcome increases to the Respite Care Grant which was increased by €1,500 to €1,700.

The income on the Carers Allowance for a couple has increased by €25 to €665.