Sinn Féin spokesperson on Carers Pauline Tully TD and spokesperson on Public Expenditure Mairéad Farrell TD have criticised the government for excluding carers from the pandemic frontline bonus of €1,000 for frontline health and ambulance workers.
An equivalent payment will also be provided for relevant staff in private sector nursing homes and hospices affected by Covid-19, but this will not include carers.
Teachta Tully said:
“Family Carers do immense work all the time but they deserve recognition for all the additional work undertaken in the past two years.
“Practically all supports were withdrawn and carers were left isolated. They are the forgotten frontline who protect our health service on an ongoing basis by providing care to very ill loved ones, saving the state billions every year.
“They were not considered for PPE provision or vaccine prioritisation. They cannot be forgotten again. Minister McGrath must do the right thing and extend this payment to Carers .”
Teachta Farrell raised this issue with Minister McGrath today during Ministerial questions today.
“I of course welcome the moves to provide a frontline bonus for those who worked so hard and gave so much during the pandemic, having to operate in risky and often difficult environments.
“This was badly needed and well deserved.
“However, it is very regrettable that our hard-working carers have been left behind, especially given how much they suffered during the pandemic.
“These people were on the frontlines during the pandemic and without their work, the government would have been in a real predicament.
“These carers lost their day service, their respite, and their unofficial respite in the form of help from grandparents and other family members when they were required to isolate at home.
“Their inclusion in the bonus could have made a real difference and, given recognition to their hard work, which is often overlooked, I am calling on the government and Minister McGrath to reconsider their exclusion.”