Carers march backwards to Dáil

CARERS marched backwards to the Dáil yesterday to demonstrate how they feel they are being treated by the Government.

The 161 carers who took part represented 0.1% of Ireland’s 161,000 family carers who are concerned that the Government will take more backward steps by cutting vital allowances in next week’s budget.

The Carers’ Association, who organised the demonstration, said carers had been dealt a dreadful blow in recent weeks when the Government decided not to publish the National Carers Strategy.

The association’s chief executive Enda Egan said they knew that all allowances were under review and was urging the Government not to hit carers again.

“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,” he said.

Mr Egan said family carers were paid e1.30 per hour for their caring work, compared with a minimum of e13 per hour paid to care workers employed by the health services. “Family carers are essentially providing this Government with care on the cheap,” he said.


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