Carers from across Limerick are urging the Government to reverse the decision to cut the Carer’s Respite grant next year.
A protest was staged outside City Hall this Monday where a number of carers voiced their anger at the €325 cut, which was announced in last week’s budget.
Catherine Callinan, Oola, who cares for her own child says the respite grant should not have been targeted in the budget.
“I was disgusted (when I heard about the cut) especially when they said they weren’t cutting the core payments so it came as a shock,” she said.
Ms Callinan says the work being done by carers is undervalued. “We are doing a great job, we are saving the country millions every year in caring for children and so on. By cutting the Respite Care Grant they have affected the carers”.
Shirley Mulcahy, 39, who has two sons with Autism said the cut in the respite grant has created unnecessary stress for carers.
“The Government is meant to be supporting families and helping them with their kids but it just causes so much stress in the family. Even getting through the minefield of bureaucratic red tape to get applications in that will be viewed fairly and considered is stressful,” she said adding that she uses the respite grant to pay for private therapies for her children due cuts in public services.
Sinn Fein city councillor, Maurice Quinlivan, who attended Monday’s protest says he is supporting the carers.
“I think the cuts to the respite care were the meanest cuts of the lot. It’s not an awful lot of money and it actually saves the state multiples of that. These people work 24-7, 365 days a year and the respite grants give them some of them a chance to get away for a few days but in most cases they use that money to pay other bills,” he said.