Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly, said the government are being dishonest about home help after she received a Parliamentary Question reply from the HSE which shows the number of home help hours promised in Budget 2020 is less than half of what is needed.
Speaking this evening, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The government have had a freeze on home help hours for most of the year and it has meant that the waiting list for home help has exploded to 7,225.
“Fine Gael then tried to pull a fast one in Budget 2020 by making out the provision of one-million hours of home help would clear the whole waiting list.
“Sinn Féin called them out on this trickery at the time and we now have proof from the HSE that one-million hours will barely cover half the people on the waiting list and thousands will be left without home help.
“The numbers provided to me by the HSE show that some 2.5million home help hours would be needed to clear the waiting list in 2020 and give everyone 6.5 hours of care per week, at a cost of €59million for the year.
“Instead of delivering for those who need home care, we had a cynical attempt by the government to try and trick the public.
“This situation is ridiculous – we have people entitled to home help not getting their hours, we have a postcode lottery for who can and cannot get care, and we have a government wasting huge sums of money on private home help providers instead of investing in a working public home help system.
“It would have only taken €59m to ensure everyone on the home help waiting list got the home help they need, but Fine Gael couldn’t give a toss about the people on that waiting list – their actions for the last 8 years show that.”