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"Government Must Not Renege On Promises to Support Carers" - Tóibín

The Aontú Leader, Peadar Tóibín TD has urged the government to hold to their promises in terms of budget measures for care, despite their defeat in the referendum.  


Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said: "During the referendum campaign the government, very cynically, promised better financial supports for carers if people voted yes. Minister Humphreys said a yes victory would "strengthen my own hand... to do more for carers... when it comes to negotiating at budget time". Likewise Minister O'Gorman said that the government's proposed wording, if accepted by the people, would be "interpreted by the Supreme Court in cases where individuals feel the government of the day isn't doing enough to support their care". The truth is that the government doesn't need constitutional change to help carers - they need to work together to produce a budget which helps carers". 


Deputy Tóibín continued: "Right across the spectrum of care - from nursing home closures, childcare closures, respite services and financial supports for carers and families of those with disabilities to Tusla failing children in State care, the government has been a disaster. The solutions to these problems are not complex - we do not need a constitutional change or a case to the Supreme Court to fix these problems, we simply need the Ministers for Children, Social Protection and Public Expenditure to listen to the various sectors. They need to properly reform the core funding for the childcare sector, they need to better fund private nursing homes, they need to instruct Tusla to cease the funding of Special Emergency Arrangements and unregulated care of children, and divert the funding towards the public, private and voluntary regulated sectors, and ensure fair treatment of staff in the voluntary sector in terms of pension entitlements. They need to increase payments to foster families in line with the rate of inflation since the last time there was an increase, and extend child benefit payments to foster carers from day one". 


"In terms of the carer's allowance, we need reform of the qualification criteria to ensure more people are entitled to it, rather than empty virtue signalling. The idea that the Minister for Children would tell family carers that his plan for them is a constitutional change, after which they should take him to the Supreme Court to tell him he isn't doing his job, is ridiculous. He should just bloody well do his job. The resounding 'No' vote in recent days shows the country is behind family carers, and wishes to see them better supported. As the only party to advocate a No vote, Aontú will now push for the ratification of the Optional Protocol without delay, and will constantly remind the government of all the funding promises they dangled before the electorate during the referendum campaign", concluded Tóibín. 

By Aontú Press | 13 March, 2024

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Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.