Carers and people with disabilities hit in Fianna Fáil manifesto debacle

28th January, 2020

FF gives €267 million tax cut to the wealthy, but only €10 over five years to carers and people with disabilities

The debacle of the Fianna Fáil manifesto continued this morning (Tuesday) as it emerged that carers and people with disabilities are being given a miserly €10 increase over the next five years. Fianna Fáil’s approach stands in stark contrast to the generosity they are showing to the wealthiest in society, where they are promising a €267 million tax cut on Capital Gains Tax.

Fianna Fáil’s policy stands in contrast to the €15 weekly increase that was delivered since 2016 by the Fine Gael led government, and FG’s commitment to increase those payments by €25 a week across the lifetime of the next Government.

The difference in the commitments of the two parties amounts to €780 per annum for a carer or a person with a disability.

Speaking in Galway where he unveiled two billboards highlighting the differences between Fine Gael’s and Fianna Fáil’s approach to this issue, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said:

“The ultimate question for voters is who do they trust to build a future we can all look forward to?

“Carers, people with disabilities and people in receipt of the blind pension certainly can’t trust Fianna Fáil. Micheál Martin needs to explain why he is treating all these people differently to pensioners.

“Fine Gael, on the other hand, will provide €5 extra a week for pensioners and match that with €5 a week for carers, people with disabilities and those in receipt of the blind pension.

“Fianna Fáil is refusing to answer any questions on its plans, which have more holes than a slab of Swiss cheese. Carers, people with disabilities and those in receipt of the blind pension deserve to know why they are being penalised by Micheál Martin.

“Fianna Fáil are coming unstuck on policy in this campaign. They are being found out. Inadequate provision for health, no provision for public sector pay, tax cuts for the wealthiest, fuzzy numbers on housing and cuts in welfare in real terms. It’s not the kind of change you can trust.”

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, added, “The expectation had been that people with disabilities, those in receipt of the blind pension and carers would receive the same weekly payment as pensioner of €5 a week each year, which will mean the payments will each have increased by €25 over the course of the next Government. This is what happened in Budget 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“However, Fianna Fáil has only allocated a commitment of a €10 increase over the course of the next five years; that amounts to €2 per week. This means a carer will be €780 worse off under Fianna Fáil’s plan than they would have expected.”

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said, “The Fianna Fáil proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax are beyond belief. They will cost €267 million euro and will only benefit the wealthiest in society.

“In contrast, Fine Gael has focused on helping those in middle Ireland. Our income tax and USC changes will put money back in the pocket of those who need it most.”