Clare Family Carers Call On Government To Abolish Means Testing

Carers in Clare are calling on the Government to urgently abolish means testing for those providing an essential service to their vulnerable loved ones.

It comes as new lump supports announced in Budget 2024 will be paid to over 120,000 family carers across the country this week.

Almost 3,000 people in this county will benefit from new measures coming into effect this week that will aim to mitigate the cost of living for family carers across the country.


Among the initiatives to be introduced is the new Long Term Carers Contribution Scheme which will allow carers to include any period in which they provided full time care to an incapicated individual in their Pay-related social insurance record.

Additionally a lump sum payment of €400 will be distributed to over 120,000 carers this week, while family’s with a qualified child will receive a one off payment of €100.

A carer in th South-East of the county believes the state is failing to recognise the immense cost efficient service people in her position provide.

Marion Costelloe from Shannon, who provides full-time support for her mother living with Alzheimers, says while all help is welcome, the additional funds are simply not enough amidst the cost of living crisis.

The Netwatch Clare Family Carer of the Year, meanwhile, is calling for the means test for carers allowance to be abolished.

To qualify for the weekly payment, carers cannot work or be involved in any other training courses for eighteen hours a week, while the maximum rate for a full-time carer looking after two people below retirement age is €354 per week.

Census 2022 would also reveal that Clare has the highest rate of unpaid carers in the country in the 20-25 age bracket who simply do not meet the means test criteria.

Sinéad O’Brien from Bunratty, who manages for her 14 year-old son Cathal’s heart condition, epilepsy and profound needs says the funding does not recognise the specialist abilities of carers.