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Fine Gael politicians urge Burton to roll back on respite grant cut

A Fine Gael TD and a Senator have both asked the Minister to reconsider the decision to cut the grant by over €300.

File photo of Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.
File photo of Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

TWO FINE GAEL politicians have contacted Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to ask her to reconsider the cut to the respite care grant that was announced in this week’s budget.

TD Regina Doherty said she was “sickened” by the cut and will be meeting with the minister on Tuesday to discuss it.

“It’s very difficult to accept,” she told TheJournal.ie. “When something is wrong, it’s wrong and I question how, when someone sat around a table, they thought that this was OK.”

“There was no consultation with us about this beforehand, I only got the notification on the day so it was a big shock.”

Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames joined her colleague in criticising the cut of over €300 to the respite care grant.

“I don’t like it because I feel that the people who are getting it are doing incredible work and it will cost more if they don’t do it,” she told TheJournal.ie. “It just goes too close to the bone for me.”

“I did contact the minister and I got a response about the increases in the grant over the last few years,” she said. “I do understand that she’s in a difficult position but I think it would be a brave thing to roll back on, I wouldn’t see it as a sign of weakness.”

“I will be encouraging her to look at it again and I’m hoping she’ll listen,” she added.

Yesterday the Minister told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that if the respite care grant was maintained in Budget 2013, core weekly Social Welfare payments would have been reduced. When asked if the government would roll back on the decision she said “the budget has now been made”.

Read: No change of heart from Government on respite care grant>

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