Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Who Cares for Carers?

Archive Statements > 2016

Who Cares for The Carers?
31st May 2016

There are more than 200,000 family carers in this country and they provide outstanding care to their family members who are ill. The annual value to the state of this excellent care has been calculated conservatively at €4 billion and in return carers receive very little financial compensation for the hours, days, weeks, months and years of loving care they provide.

The recent restoration of the Carer's support grant is really only the same as one week's holiday in the year and when one takes into account the cost of providing a replacement carer for the week it is indeed a paltry sum.

I believe that we should establish a secure form of income for all carers and this carer's income should be set at a realistic level given the wonderful service carers provide. This payment should not be means tested as the work carers do is valuable work in and of itself and excluding some carers from any benefit is extremely unfair to the many people who provide care at no expense to the state.

It is vital that we as a civilised society recognise the value of caring provided by hundreds of thousands of our citizens and it is up to the new Government to demonstrate that new politics also embraces the needs of our people who are ill and the family members who care for them.

Cllr. Joe Behan

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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