The government is “robbing” grandparents of their medical cards to give free GP care to the grandchildren, according to Deputy Robert Troy.
Slamming minister for health James Reilly for restricting the over 70s’ medical card eligibility, the Fianna Fail man described the move as “the most shameless betrayal by one of the most shameless ministers to ever sit at Cabinet”.
“Some 35,000 over 70s have been betrayed by Minister Reilly. He is robbing grandparents so he can give free GP care to their grandchildren. It is utterly cynical and deplorable and sadly all too expected from this appalling minister. This lame duck minister who pledges universal healthcare for all is now curtailing it and introducing a major roll-back of healthcare for the over 70s.”
Deputy Troy also criticised the government for “slashing” Jobseeker’s Allowance for the U25s to €100 and cutting materninty benefit. Cutting social welfare payments for the young will encourage emigration, he added.
“This government seems to have given up on young people. They are slashing young people’s income support, which makes it extremely difficult for our young people to live in this country. They have also failed miserably to implement labour activation measures that work. The obvious discrimination is galling and shows how little faith Fine Gael and Labour have in the next generation.
“Ireland once had the largest youth cohorts in the OECD at 16% of the population. This figure stood at 12% in 2012. Emigration has been a central reason for this dramatic decline. This Government is using emigration as a policy tool to reduce unemployment numbers. This budget measure may well reduce unemployment numbers further but it will also reduce the number of young people who plan their future in Ireland.”
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