IT is unforgivable that carers in Mayo and elsewhere continue to bear the brunt of austerity, according to Mayo Sinn Féin candidate Rose Conway-Walsh.
The 6,558 family carers in Mayo who form part of the invisible workforce that save the state over four billion euro each year are experiencing unprecedented hardship, she said.
The Erris-based councillor elaborated: “A combination of excessive delays and blanket refusal of carer’s allowance, closure of hospital and nursing home beds, ever increasing transport and medical expenses, cuts to home help and Habitual Residence criteria is severely impacting on carers.
“Every day I meet carers who are mentally and physically drained, not only from caring, but from battling with the system for basic supports to enable them to continuing caring for elderly people and people with disabilities. Is it any wonder that one in five carers have been diagnosed with depression?
“The next government must address the inequality between the unjust treatment of carers and protection of the wealthy who are allowed to pay little or no tax.
“It is unacceptable that carers are having to wait months and years to get carers’ allowance and are expected to meet the costs of caring from their own pockets.
“Sinn Féin in government will increase home help hours, respite hours and provide an additional 3,800 nursing home beds as well as supporting those returning to care for elderly relatives by amending the habitual residence clause.”