Targeted attack on elderly must stop

OAPMayo Deputy Dara Calleary has called on the Government to stop its targeted attack on older people and people with disabilities.

The Fianna Fáil TD has condemned new changes to housing grants for people with disabilities.

“Make no mistake about it – what we are seeing here is another series of underhand cuts to older people and people with disabilities. Whatever way the Government tries to spin it, this means that less people in Co Mayo will be eligible for support to allow them to stay living at home,” said Deputy Calleary.

“These schemes provide vital support to help older people adapt their homes to their physical circumstances. The latest information I received through Parliamentary Questions shows Government has already cut this support to the bone, with the number of grants in Co Mayo reduced from 554 in 2010 to just 281 for the first 10 months of the year.

“This has meant that over the past three years, many older people across Co Mayo are not getting the support they need to live in the homes they have worked all their lives for. And these latest changes will make things worse.

“The Government’s dramatic reduction in local authority funding has also meant that Mayo County Council will struggle to contribute their 20% share of the grant payments. Without this contribution, central Government doesn’t supply any funding for the grants in Co Mayo at all.

“I have no doubt that this is a sneaky delay tactic by the Government to avoid paying out money for housing grants. This Government has a record of delaying a raft of State payments in order to save money – we have already seen this behaviour in relation to medical card applications and a raft of other social welfare supports.

“Without adequate State support, the waiting lists for housing grants in Co Mayo will continue to soar and the number of grants available will continue to reduce. This Government needs to radically rethink the way it is treating our older people and people with disabilities.”

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