Family carers staged a protest march on Government buildings today to plead with Government not to go back on the half-rate Carers' Allowance introduced in 2007.
"Carers across Ireland are extremely worried that vital allowances, particularly the half rate allowance will be targeted in the upcoming budget”, said Enda Egan, CEO of The Carers Association, organisers of the march.
“We are urging Government not to hit carers again. The over 18,500 family carers who receive the half-rate Carers' Allowance face a staggering 30% drop in income if this payment is cut. A completely unacceptable reduction which no other vulnerable group is being asked to take.”
To qualify for the half-rate Carers Allowance of €110 per week, family carers must be in receipt of another social welfare payment and providing full-time, high-dependency care.
“While other lobby groups are in a position to march in their thousands, unfortunately carers, due to the high level of dependency of the people they are caring for, cannot get out in such huge numbers," Mr Egan said.
"We sincerely hope that Government will not take advantage of this fact by hitting this extremely vulnerable group."