Carers in County Donegal saves the State at least €150 million per year through caring for dependents, according to Independent MEP Marian Harkin.
The MEP who represents North West Ireland and is Chair of the European Parliament’s Carers Interest Group said reducing the carers respite grant by €325 “was a despicable response to their dedicated work”.
Ms Harkin added: “Leaving aside the election promises which have not been kept, it is incomprehensible how, for a miserly €26 million saving, probably the most giving and most deserving in our community have been sold out by an obviously uncaring government.
“That this slashing of the respite grant is implemented against a background of a virtual torrent of excessive payments by the State to personnel and organisations, many of whom were involved in creating the current economic crisis, is as bizarre as it is unacceptable.
“€57 million of taxpayers money, for instance, was paid last year to bankers to manage bad loans on behalf of NAMA. Huge salaries continue to be approved for personnel in the banks, some of whom, we are told, despite the economic climate, refuse to work for less than ten times the average industrial wage.
“Carers are not just stretched to the limit in trying to provide for their loved ones but it must be galling for them to see just how little respect this government shows for them and for those they care for”, Marian Harkin MEP concluded.