Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called the government out on the increase in the number of people on the home help waiting list.

The Sinn Féin TD also blasted Fine Gael’s cynical attempt in Budget 2020 to make out their measures for home help would clear the waiting list and described it as a con job

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The government have had a freeze on home help hours and it has meant that the waiting list has exploded, with 7,255 people now waiting on funding to be signed off for home support across the State.

“In the CHO7 area, which includes Dublin South West, there are an incredible 825 people on this waiting list. The CHO7 area has the third highest amount of people on the waiting list for home help in the State.

“Fine Gael tried to pull a classic con job in Budget 2020 by making out the provision of one-million hours of home help would clear the whole waiting list.

“Sinn Féin called them out on this sleight of hand at the time and we now have additional proof from the HSE that the additional hours will cover barely half the waiting list and will mean that thousands of people won’t get the home help they require.

“The numbers provided to Sinn Féin by the HSE show that some 2.5million home help hours would be needed to clear the waiting list in 2020 and give everyone 6.5 hours of care per week, at the relatively small cost of €59million for the year.

“Instead of delivering for those who desperately need home care in Dublin South West and across the State, we had a cynical attempt by the government to try and con the public.

“This situation is infuriating, with people supposedly entitled to home help not getting their hours and we have a postcode lottery for those who can and cannot get care.  At the same time we have the government wasting vast sums of money on private home help providers instead of having a working public home help system.

“It would have only take €59m to ensure everyone on the home help waiting list, including everyone in Dublin South West, got the home help they need, but Fine Gael couldn’t give a toss about the people on that waiting list – their inactions for the last 8 years reinforce that argument.

“Their policy position is cruel and heartless, and it is the sick, the elderly, the vulnerable and their families who are suffering the most. We need to clear the home help backlog and give citizens the choice of staying and living in their own home.”