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Carolyn Atkintola (left) in her home in Dublin is a full time carer for her mother Elsie Kellaghan (right). Sam Boal/ Photocall Ireland
Budget 2013

Respite care grant cut by over €300 in budget

The reduction represents a 19 per cent cut in the payment which is used by carers to pay for home help and respite care.

CARERS WILL BE more than €300 out of pocket next year as the government revealed a cut to their annual payment, the Respite Care Grant in its budget for 2013.

The weekly rates of Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit will be maintained in 2013 and carers who are caring for more than one person will continue to retain the extra weekly payment they receive.

However the annual grant carers receive to contribute towards respite care will now be at the reduced rate of €1,375 representing a cut of more than €300.

The grant is paid to more than 77,000 families in the country, 20,000 of whom receive no other support from the state for providing full-time care for a family member. It is used by carers to buy home care or pay for residential respite care in order to give them a break from their caring role.

The cut of more than 19 per cent has been criticised by the Carer’s Association which said it is “extremely disappointed” as the grant allowed carers a “much needed break”.

“Despite working seven days a week, 365 days a year, carers are entitled to no holidays and no breaks,” Catherine Cox of the Carer’s Association said. “This grant goes some way towards allowing this.”

“We continue to see a huge disparity between policy and practice on the ground where core services to family carers such as home help hours continue to be slashed while government make promises of supporting, valuing and empowering family carers,” she added.

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