Businessman Niall Kelleher, the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Killarney electoral area for the local elections in May, has slammed the shocking figures which reveal the scale of the cuts that the Government has imposed on Kerry, on elderly and disabled people.
There has been a 70% cut in the number of families in Kerry that have received the Mobility Aid Grant and the Housing Aid for Older People grant, since 2011.
According to Niall Kelleher “what we are talking about here is the equivalent to a butchers knife being taken to the applications for Mobility Aid Grants and the Housing Aid for Older People schemes, which now stand at only 30% of what it was in 2011 throughout Kerry.”
“This is cruel and it is heartless. How can the Government preside over this devastation to the lives of elderly people and their families of caring for them. Mobility Aids Grant is available of up to €6,000 to cover a basic works to address the mobility problems of a member of a household. The areas covered include the provision of stair lifts, level access showers, access ramps, grab rails and some minor adaptation works. These grants are small, but they can have a profound impact in the lives of those who need them.”
“Looking at the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a disability, the figures for Kerry again display the scale of the cutbacks that the Government are imposing. These have been slashed from 133 in 2010 to only 79 in 2013. Housing adaptation grants are a lifeline for families and for individuals, which can help them live with dignity and comfort in their own homes. One family in Killarney that I have spoken to recently, have told me that they will have no choice but to put their loved one into long-term care, despite the fact that there is no need to do so. Small grants such as those for housing adaptation, can transform the lives of those in need. Has the Government lost sight of this most basic human right.”
“All of these grants are now administered by Kerry Co. Council and it is shocking to think the Government representatives have tried to sweep this under the carpet and pretend that it isn’t happening.”
Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability (HAG) 2010 – 2013 in Co. Kerry
Mobility Aids Grant Scheme (MAG) & the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme (HAOP) 2010 – 2013 in Co. Kerry
These figures were obtained from Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Ms. Jan O’Sullivan T.D.)