October 13, 2023
Budget 2024 fails to support older people – Patricia Ryan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Older People, Patricia Ryan TD, has said the Budget 2024 failed to appropriately invest in services to ensure older people receive the support they need.

Teachta Ryan said:

“Budget 2024 failed to appropriately invest in services and supports to ensure that older people’s needs are met.

“Despite the massive crisis in health waiting lists, no funding was provided for the promised 1,500 beds. No funding was provided for extra capacity in acute hospitals and there was no expansion of the medical card scheme. This will mean more older people waiting on chairs and trolleys again which is totally unacceptable.

“Sinn Féin proposed an additional €1.3 billion to expand capacity in acute and general hospitals. Which would have given older people a greater confidence in our health system and ensured they could access services when required.

“While the Government talked a big game on retrofitting, they certainly have not put their money where their mouth is.

“Despite the snail’s pace at which the programme is delivering, the government elected to invest a paltry additional €24 million this year into residential and community retrofitting.

“In contrast, Sinn Féin would have allocated an additional €160 million, as well as a fifty percent increase in the funding available for local authority homes.   

“The slow pace of delivery is not the only problem, however. The government’s retrofitting scheme is deeply inequitable and regressive, meaning that many older people simply cannot afford it due to the high price tag.

“Sinn Féin would therefore radically overhaul the government’s retrofitting programme and establish an area-based, tiered grant scheme. This would ensure that those who are especially vulnerable have access.

“We would also double the funding for Solar PV, increasing it to €35.5 million, and establish a specific fund for local authority homes.

“Sinn Féin is ready to invest over half a billion euro to the retrofitting programme, making sure that older people can heat their homes affordably over the Winter.

“Budget 2024 should have been an opportunity to provide services and supports that our older citizens need. Instead, government have failed to invest and deliver on their promises. A Sinn Féin government would support older people to ensure that they have the services they need and deserve.”

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