McNamara Critical of Government Inaction on Home Care Motion
Clare TD Michael McNamara has called on the Government to shift its focus to keeping elderly people out of nursing homes and ensuring that the necessary supports are provided to assist the provision of appropriate care in the home setting.
Speaking in Dail Éireann today (Wednesday, November 8, 2023), Deputy McNamara criticised the Government for opposing a Labour Party Motion seeking a guaranteed minimum Living Wage for home carers and the restoration of home support services.
Deputy McNamara backed the Motion which is looking for restoration of the 1.9 million hours of home help support cut in July 2023 and a guarantee of no cuts to the duration of home support hours. It also is seeking a guarantee that home carers are paid, at a minimum, the new Living Wage rate of €14.80, and that payment is provided for mileage expenses and travel time between care locations, along with guaranteed hours and continuity of income for HCSAs.
Addressing Junior Health Minister Mary Butler, whose personal commitment Deputy McNamara acknowledged, he stated: “It is backwards this government that you are a junior minister in is going with regard to home help. Regarding the measures that the Labour Party have called for, I just don’t understand how you could possibly disagree with them,” he said.
McNamara also pointed out that an examination of the social welfare system needs to be inter taken to ensure that persons who are prepared to provide a couple of hours of home help each day are not out in a position of being unable to secure any unemployment assistance for the part of the week they were not working.
“I would add of course the necessity to look at social welfare and to ensure that is not a disincentive and that there isn’t of cliff edge with regards to benefits for people who want to work in home care,” he said.