Minister secures funding to reverse cuts to respite care grant

Minister secures funding to reverse cuts to respite care grant

The disabilities minister has said he has reached a deal to undo cuts to the respite care grant.

Finian McGrath says extra money is to be given to the Department of Social Protection, bringing it back to €1,700 a year.

The cut in the 2013 Budget was one of the most controversial acts of austerity imposed by the last government.

The minister also says he has secured €31m in extra funding for the disabilities sector this year, to deal with several issues including so-called "emergency cases".

Mr McGrath said: "When I talk about emergency cases, I'm talking about adults with intellectual disabilities in their 40s and 50s whose parents are dying or dead or into their 80s and 90s.

"This is a huge issue every single June in the services."

It will also cover costs incurred from compliance with national residential standards and services provided to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities.

The Minister said the Government is committed to providing improved services and supports for people with disabilities.

He said: "We want to empower them to live independent lives, provide them with greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.

"The additional funding will support the Programme for Government commitment ensuring that all 18-year-old school leavers with disabilities have access to supports and services which meet their needs, at this crucial transition point in their lives."


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