Sinn Féin activists from all over Cork will today join a rally and march in support of the Home Helps fight against cutbacks in the crucial services they provide to older people and those living with disabilities in communities throughout the state. The mobilisation, which starts at 2pm outside Connolly Hall, marks the launch of SIPTU’s ‘Time to Care’ national Home Helps campaign.
Sinn Féin’s TD for Cork North-Central Jonathan O’Brien said:
“Sinn Féin has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Home Helps of Ireland in thes face of cuts that have devastated Home Help hours and Home Care packages. These services are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of those availing of them. Last month, the party brought a motion before the Dáil that called on the government to reverse these cuts and return funding to pre-Budget 2012 levels. However, the government ensured that the motion was defeated despite the overwhelming anger within communities to this attack on the most vulnerable people in our society.”
“This is not just a case of figures. These cuts of almost €10 million in funding and the slashing of 1,000,000 contact hours represents the flesh and blood cases of people. They have been assessed, time and time again, and they have always been found to be in need of care. Yet the HSE, on the demand of the government, has still pushed ahead with implementation of savage cuts.
“The minister says there are no other options. We have presented him with one.There are 226 members in the houses of the Oireachtas. We could reduce ministers’ pay to €100,000, Deputies’ pay to €75,000 and Senators’ pay to €60,000. That would leave each of us with a good income and would save €4.3 million – over 250,000 home help hours. It is a viable cost-saving that would take away some of the burden that Minister Reilly and his team prefers to place on frontline services and communities."
“I am also protesting today for personal reasons. My family and I have first-hand experience of the amazing service and care provided by Home Help workers. My Father’s right to stay in his home, over the course of his fight against Motor Neuron Disease , was upheld mainly due to the work and dedication of his home help. Many other patients and their families will be robbed of this right if we do not succeed in forcing the government to reverse these cuts.”
For further information please contact Deputy Jonathan O’Brien on 0860274142