My call to Government: Enough is enough – stop targeting the most vulnerable people in society.
I am calling on the Government to stop targeting the most vulnerable people in Irish society and to reverse the unacceptable cuts to basic facilities such as Home Help, Home Improvement Grants for the Elderly and Disabled, Medical Cards, Telephone Allowance, etc.
Most people are dismayed to learn that they have no right to home or community care and that access is discretionary, unequal and problematic.
Cutting home care services for the elderly or disabled does not make any sense. These cuts will inflict intolerable pain on distressed individuals and families and cost the State more in the long run as the elderly and disabled are forced into long-term care in our hospitals and care centres, costing multiples of what it would cost to pay the very minimum amount to Home Help.
I am also very frustrated with the Government for yet another shameful, unfair and appalling cut to the resources available to the elderly or those with a disability. The Government have drastically altered the qualification criteria for grant-aid available from Local Authorities like Roscommon County Council to assist the elderly and those with a disability to adapt their home to their needs, namely – the Housing Adaptation Grant for people with a disability, Housing Aid for Older People and the Mobility Aid grants.
Availability of these grants is one of the most common queries I receive on my canvass campaign. These grants are all in big demand and there is a huge waiting list in Co. Roscommon for those awaiting funds under this scheme. To now scale them back so radically will have a hugely negative impact on countless Roscommon families.
Many older people or people with a disability will be forced to leave their home and go into full-time care. This is a devastating and cruel blow. It is shameful for the Government to treat our vulnerable citizens in this way and ultimately is ridiculously short-sighted and ill-considered.
I am also appalled by the severe harsh cuts and qualifying criteria for Medical Card holders and am calling on all election candidates to contact Government representatives to lobby for the reversal of their unacceptable attacks on the most vulnerable people in our society.”
MY PLEDGE TO THE PUBLIC
If re-elected to Roscommon County Council on May 23 next, I will continue to be a strong independent voice for the people of County Roscommon and will never be compromised by the party system which has miserably failed our people.