Contributory pension for carers to be introduced by Government

Contributory pension for carers to be introduced by Government
Elderly person's hands, © PA Wire/PA Images

Carers are set to receive a State contributory pension and tax credits for stay-at-home parents are to be improved under a raft of measures being worked on by the Government.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has outlined a number of extra supports that are now being worked on for those who look after family members in the home in the wake of the defeated referendum on care.

“Obviously, what we have to do is to demonstrate to carers of people with disabilities that we are on their side, and that we are working in their interests," Mr Varadkar said.

While the Taoiseach said he would not be announcing any budget measures this far out, he pointed to recent budgets which have increased payments to carers and people with disabilities, saying: "We can do that more".


Mr Varadkar said Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys is now carrying out a review of the carer's support grant.

"Minister Humphreys is working on further measures in that area, both a review of the means test and the various payments that are paid to carers, and also bringing in a State contributory pension for carers.

"When people are caring, they're not able to make PRSI contributions because they're not able to work because they're caring.  That will be recognised so that they can get a State contributory pension."

Mr Varadkar agreed that more respite hours also need to be provided for those who care for loved ones. However, he cited staff shortages as a major challenge in delivering these supports.


"When it comes to disability and carers as well, obviously we are doing all that we can to provide more respite, which is very deficient at the moment, and provide more therapies and more services. Unfortunately, it's not up to where it should be.

"But the real difficulty there isn't financial or a lack of concern or care from the Government, it’s finding skilled people who are qualified to do the job and willing to do the job. And that’s been a real struggle," he said.

Turning to parents who stay at home to mind children, Mr Varadkar indicated that the home care tax credit could be improved.

Kenneth Fox


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