Senator Joe O’ Reilly-Cavan/Monaghn- ‘Budget Cut in Carers Allowance is Pure Madness!’

Order of Business- 9th December

Senator Joe O’Reilly: This year’s budget in many ways hits the poor and ordinary people who did not create our troubles. One measure which stands out and that should be reconsidered and discussed in this House is the reduction in the carer’s allowance. People who are carers make an input into the economy. They create wealth in the sense of reducing the need for institutional care.

They create wealth in the sense of providing a service at home. They are cost neutral. There have been many consultative studies and so on in this country and a great deal of money has been spent on experts to advise experts, many from outside the Civil Service, but a proper study has never been undertaken of the import and potential of carers to keep more people at home and out of institutional care. The cut in the carer’s allowance is wrong and should be revisited. We need to have a debate on the effect of carers in homes, the happiness they create and the quality of life they provide. In these times when economics have taken supremacy over all other social sciences, the value of carers in economic terms is under-estimated. We need to re-examine this cutback. I appeal to the Leader to provide time for that debate.
I support Senator O’Toole’s call on the need to bring the climate change legislation into this House immediately on the basis that we need to create jobs in the green energy area. It is critical to debate that legislation given our potential to export energy. I ask the Leader to provide time for a debate on those two issues. The madness of discouraging our carers at a time when this country needs to create jobs is appalling.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website