Respite care grant to be restored, four years after controversial cut

Annual grant received by carers will be brought back up to original level

Finian McGrath, smoking, pubs, bars, Ireland, policy, government, junior health minister,

Super Junior Minister Finian McGrath talking to the media | Image: RollingNews.ie

A deal has been reached to reverse the much-criticised cut to the respite care grant.

Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath confirmed the payment will be brought back up €1,700 a year as part of funding secured by the Independent Alliance. 

The grant reduction in Budget 2013 was one of the most controversial austerity measures imposed by the last government.

Mr McGrath made the announcement as he confirmed the provision of an extra €31 million in funding for disability services.

The money will come out of the €500 million top-up to the HSE budget announced yesterday.

It will cover costs incurred from compliance with national residential standards, services to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities and the supply of emergency residential places, according to Mr McGrath.

“When I talk about emergency cases I’m talking about adults with intellectual disabilities in their 40s and 50s whose parents are dying or dead, or in their 80s and 90s,” the Minister said.

Mr McGrath added that he was “particularly pleased” that funding had been earmarked to assist school leavers with disabilities.

“Providing people with the means and opportunity to make their own decisions and yet receive support when they need it are critical to our aims,” he said.

Around €28 million of the package will go towards addressing “existing financial pressures” caused by the need to improve services.