Carers across the county save the State at least €35m per year, according to north/west MEP Marian Harkin (Ind).
The local MEP was speaking in the aftermath of the cut to the Carers Respite Grant in last week’s budget – a cut which she described as“despicable”.
Harkin, who is the Chair of the European Parliament’s Carers Interest Group, said that the grant reduction was “unthinking and heartless” and pointed to all the “broken promises” made by the current government, pre-election 2011.
“Leaving aside the election promises which have not been kept it, is incomprehensible that for a miserly €26 million saving, probably the most giving and most deserving in our community have been sold out by an obviously uncaring government,” the local MEP said.
“Carers are not just stretched to the limit in trying to provide for their loved ones, but it must be galling for them to see just how little respect this government shows for them and for those they care for.”