Sinn Féin’s Cllr.Fiona Kerins has described her party’s proposal to reinstate 95,000 home help hours as “a direct challenge” to the Minister for Health in the lead-up to December’s budget.
The party announced the measure today at the launch of its alternative budget for 2013 entitled ‘Making the right choices’.
Cllr. Kerins said:
“The line from the Minister and the Government has been that the home help cuts are unavoidable. This document lays out in black & white how that position is nonsense. It is a matter of making socially-just choices. It is a matter of priorities.”
“Having a home help for a couple of hours daily to provide social interaction, practical help and real support is invaluable to older and infirm people. However, the Government has cut over one and a half million home help hours and has sought to convince people that the decision was beyond their control.”
“Sinn Fein’s fully-costed proposal provides for the immediate reinstatement of the 950,000 home help hours cut in 2012. It is realistic and achievable if the political determination existed within the coalition to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities. The reversal would cost the state €16.9 million. It is a sum that pales in comparison to the amounts being handed over to international financial speculators.”
“The proposal, on home helps, presents a clear and direct challenge to the austerity agenda of the Government. It dispels the myth that the Minister’s hands are tied in defending a cornerstone of community-based primary care.”
For further information please contact Cllr. Fiona Kerins 0851091758