Life After Lockdown: Family Carers Ireland's Proposals for Budget 2021
Family carers have long been lauded as the backbone of care provision in Ireland; an essential yet hidden pillar in our healthcare system. However, during the COVID crisis they became much more. They became the great protectors of society. They not only stayed at home themselves during the crisis but enabled older people, people with a disability, the sick and terminally ill to stay at home as well. When services shut down they stepped up, continuing to care around the clock to ensure their loved one stayed at home and out of hospital, facing unprecedented levels of risk to themselves in order to protect us all. Carers have played a more significant role in suppressing the coronavirus than most and their essential contribution to the national healthcare response should be acknowledged.
Whilst the State’s response to this crisis was swift including a number of supports such as the wage subsidy scheme, an enhanced unemployment payment, a temporary end to our two-tier health system, a prohibition on evictions, a rent freeze and the mobilisation of community services to support those who were most vulnerable to the virus and all are all to be commended, it is vital that Government’s response as we emerge from lockdown is equally swift and targets those most in need including family carers and those they care for.
Family Carers Ireland’s Pre-Budget Submission ‘Life After Lockdown’ contains 17 policy priorities family carers want to see delivered in Budget 2021. We are calling on the newly-elected Government to use Budget 2021 as an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to family carers and as a first step towards honouring the commitments made to carers set out in the Programme for Government.
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