Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has today launched her party’s Charter For Family Carers.
The document outlines proposals to stand up for Family Carers and ensure they get the financial and emotional support they deserve.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“Family Carers do highly-skilled, often exhausting work in caring for a loved one. They feel completely abandoned and ignored by the government, who have been failing for years to give them the support they deserve and should be entitled to.
“This neglect has been felt for years but the pandemic has put even more pressure on Family Carers as day services and other crucial supports have been withdrawn.
“We must act now to ensure that they get the supports they need. Sinn Féin is today publishing a Charter For Family Carers which sets out a detailed and fully costed package of proposals to deliver this change.
“A key part of our proposals is increasing the income disregards for Carer’s Allowance which have remained unchanged since 2008.
“Our Charter details how we can deliver vital financial support by increasing the Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit from €219 to €255 and increasing the annual Carer’s Support Grant by €150 to €2000. It also widens eligibility criteria, so more Carers can receive support instead of being shut out by income thresholds or due to being self-employed.
“Crucially, our Charter puts in place financial support for carers not only during their time of caring but also in retirement by ensuring careful review of the new Total Contributions Approach to ensure that it actually benefits Carers.
“Importantly, it also delivers key emotional support by putting in place an Emergency Talk Therapy Fund, to give essential support to Family Carers, as many are currently feeling burnt out due to the pressures of the pandemic.
“It also ensures Family Carers are considered a priority group for the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine. This is essential, as many families have been effectively at home for over a year now as they try to keep their families safe from the virus.
“I am calling on all parties to back our Charter For Family Carers and ensure that families finally get the support that they need. It’s time to recognise the vital work family carers do and deliver the change that they need.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability, Pauline Tully TD, said:
“Sinn Féin’s Charter For Family Carers outlines clearly the key supports that Family Carers need and how they can be delivered. Family Carers do invaluable work yet receive so little recognition by the Government.
“Carers are fed up of politicians paying lip service to them but failing to deliver the change they need. Sinn Féin will stand up for Family Carers and continue to be a voice for them. I am calling on all parties to put their words into action by backing this Charter and making it a reality.”