Private Members Bill Put Forward Regarding Removing Means Testing For Family Carers Allowance

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The Regional Independent Dáil Group is putting forward a Private Members Bill today calling for the removal of means testing in respect of applications for the family carers allowance.  Deputy Michael Lowry says the regulation is Unfair, Unjust, Indefensible and Downright Wrong’.

Some 500,000 people across Ireland are caring for a family member and 10,000 live in county Tipperary according to Deputy Lowry.  They could be parents caring for a child with a serious illness or disability or caring for an adult with complex needs, caring for an older person or, in some cases, they may be caring for multiple people.

Being a carer is a full time responsibility often both day and night in many cases according to Deputy Lowry.  

The fact that the income of another family member in the home can determine the payment that the Carer receives is indefensible according to the Thurles based TD. It is estimated that carers save the state a figure close to €20B because they care for a person in their own home.

Deputy Lowry welcomes  an Interdepartmental  Working Party  to examine the issue  but says the situation must change and is confident of a positive change in the Autumn Budget.