Fine Gael’s Dr. Liam Twomey said that he does not believe the Taoiseach’s claims when he said that there will be no cuts to front line services for those with disabilities because families have seen these services cut since January and budgets are expected to be cut further next year.
“Since the beginning of the downturn, this Fianna Fail government has consistently made cuts in areas where there is the greatest need e.g. cuts in Social Welfare, cuts in essential hospital services and cuts for those with disabilities and we in county Wexford have seen all of these cuts at first hand. At the same time, people’s perception is that the cuts are unfair because those at the top like the developers and bankers have been protected and this is resulting in alot of public anger.”
“As a result of this anger, people marched in Dublin and Galway on Wednesday in protest at cuts in respite care services. The government must realise that families with loved ones that have disabilities are under constant pressure and stress and need the voluntary respite care services to help them to cope in caring for their family members.”
“However, we know that there is waste at every level in the HSE. The Chief Executive of the HSE Corporate body told Fine Gael that there are 2,500 people who do not know what their jobs are. Despite this, there will be no redundancies in the HSE at this level. Therefore it is essential that HSE officials, when looking at ways to decrease costs start at the top and look at areas of waste, not at front line services. Respite care is essential in improving the quality of life for both the carers and those who are mentally or physically disabled and we are lucky in county Wexford to have good facilities providing excellent care. I will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure that respite care services are not cut.”