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Readers’ panel: Full-time carer

Patricia Donlon is happy that carers haven’t been too badly hit but is disappointed at the cut to the respite care grant that she uses to “treat” her parents.

File photo
File photo
Image: Ocskay Bence via Shutterstock

PATRICIA DONLON IS a full-time carer to her two elderly parents. She lives in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Her biggest fear was that her three 30 minute home help slots a week would be cut.

I was delighted in the sense that he left the carers and that side of it alone but I don’t think it was a fair budget by any means.

The cut in the respite care grant was surprising. I would get one and half grants in respect of my parents. I use this for little treats for them. To take my mother outside the front door, I need a taxi. That’s €10 straight away. It’s another sneaky way of taking money from those who can’t afford it.

My parents, who are now in their 80s, bought their house for £7,000, hard money. Why should they have to pay tax on it now? Anyone that’s on a pension shouldn’t have to pay. It’s scandalous. Most people who currently have a mortgage are already in trouble and now they have a property tax to pay as well.

I bought my house 19 years ago for £8,000. I’m not a millionaire. I’m not even in the middle. I’m on the bloody bottom.

Government had led us to believe that they would means-test the Children’s Allowance. That €10 is a lot of money to a lot of people.

I can’t even have a shower in the house, the water pressure is that low. And now I have to pay for the water?

It’s always the same. Those that are on the bottom always get hit. For those on lower incomes, they are still in major trouble. Politicians have no idea how the normal people are living.

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The change in the prescription charge for medical holders from €0.50 to €1.50 will mean an increase of €17.00 a month for my parents medication. They need 17 different medicines between them each month.

Plus they never told us how much they are going to take off the ESB or how much of the phone allowance will be taken off us. Then there is the carbon tax. It was a sneaky way of making the cuts.

Read the verdict from other readers on’s panel>

Readers’ Panel Part One: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Readers’ Panel Part Two: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Read more:’s coverage of all the latest news from Budget 2013 >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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