Pre-Budget Submission 2018: Tipperary councillor calls on Government to support family carers

Family Carers Ireland 'Budget 2018: Share the Care’

Pre-Budget Submission 2018: Tipperary councillor calls on Government to support family carers

Family Carers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission 2018 is titled 'Budget 2018: Share the Care’ .

Tipperary councillor Richie Molloy is urging the Government to support family carers in Budget 2018.

Family Carers Ireland Tipperary branch manager, Cllr. Molloy, says one in twenty in Ireland is a family carer, providing some €10 billion in unpaid care each year.

He highlights that by 2030 demographic changes will require one in five to take on a caring role.

Family Carers Ireland presented its Pre-Budget Submission 2018, titled ‘Budget 2018: Share the Care’, to Government in Dublin in July.

The submission emphasises that “care must be a shared responsibility between the state, community and wider family and not left solely to family carers struggling with insufficient supports”.

The submission is calling on Government to immediately invest in homecare, support all carers to ensure they aren’t financially burdened by their caring role, and to allocate funding for a new National Carers’ Strategy (2018-2022).

Cllr. Molloy will be particularly focussing on the following areas as Family Carers Ireland Tipperary representative:

Housing, planning and local government

  • Homes where high-level care is provided should be exempt from the Local Property Tax, in line with the exemption given to nursing homes and other centres of care.
  • Disregard Carer’s Allowance and DCA in the means assessment of the Differential Rent Scheme.
  • Increase Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme funding to 2010 levels of €95m and exclude the income of adult children living in the household from the means assessment.
  • Revise the Senior Alert Scheme to include basic telecare and assistive technology supports, and extend the provisions of the scheme to include vulnerable adults aged under 65 years.
  • Plan for the future care and housing needs of people with disabilities and invest in a range of independent living and community-based residential centres so people with a disability can live with dignity and independence and their parents have peace of mind knowing that their child will be looked after when they are no long able to provide care.

Education and skills

  • Increase the number of SNAs in schools and review eligibility which is currently restricted to the child having (a) toileting need and/or (b) a physical need, to include children with anxiety.
  • Support young adults as they make the transition from child to adult disability services, and begin planning at least three years prior to the child reaching 18.
  • Include young carers as an under-represented group to be prioritised in the work of the National Access Policy Office to facilitate their participation in higher education.
  • Ensure young adult carers are recognised as a vulnerable group and prioritised in the financial support made available to schools, colleges and universities to access and sustain their education.
  • Ensure carers can access flexible training options to support them in their caring role.

Children and youth affairs

  • Fund the establishment of a ‘Young Carer Development Team’ to deliver targeted outreach activities across the country. The team would liaise with schools and community services in each HSE region to identify and support young carers early in their caring journey.
  • Deliver on the commitment contained within the National Youth Strategy to establish a cross-departmental Young Carer Working Group.
  • Prepare a profile of young carers from Census 2016, as committed to in Census 2011.

Justice and equality

  • Review carers’ rights within the workplace with a view to extending the Carer’s Leave Act 2001 to include the right to request flexible working.

Expenditure and reform

  • Ring-fence funding for phase two of the National Carers’ Strategy 2018 – 2022.

Jobs, enterprise and innovation 

  • Address the shortage of homecare workers by incentivising employment in the sector: tackling ‘if and when’ contracts, improving standards and reforming social welfare rules to incentivise people to take on work in the homecare sector.

Finance

  • Further increase the Home Carer Tax Credit and income thresholds where one spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for a dependent person.
  • Address the disparity in tax credits available to single carers and those jointly assessed. E.g. Home Carer Tax Credit is €1,100 but the Dependent Relative Tax Allowance is €70.