Health & Child Care
Fighting for Better Health Services in Louth and East Meath
1,582 people were waiting more than a year for an outpatient appointment at the Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in August 2015. That’s up a staggering 579 per cent in a year. Overall some 11,675 people are waiting for an appointment.
On top of this there were 606 on trolleys in the Lourdes during September. That’s almost three times as many as in September 2013. And older people at home are also losing out under the government too with 43,038 home help hours lost in Louth since 2010.
Fianna Fáil is committed to reviving the National Treatment Purchase Fund to tackle waiting lists and will restore the home help hours lost under Fine Gael / Labour
Louth and East Meath are great places to raise children but many families find childcare costs to be excessive and in many instances it costs as much as a second mortgage. I believe that failing to invest in early childcare short-changes children, families and the taxpayer because the return on investment is greater than almost all other economic development policies.
Fianna Fáil will introduce a progressive Childare Support Credit to cover 20 to 40 percent of the costs of childcare for working parents, so that good quality, affordable childcare is available to all. We will also invest substantially in quality, professional led pre-school education before introducing a Second Free Pre-school Year for all children aged 2 to 3 years old, to give all children and families access to early education and supports from the start of a child’s life.
Fianna Fáil is committed to giving all children the best possible start in life. We will support working parents to make childcare affordable and professionalise the childcare sector to the highest standard and work towards the following key measures:
- Childcare Tax Credit
- Universal Second Free Pre-School Year
- Expanding Community Childcare for Children from disadvantaged background
- Putting in place Special Needs Supports and SNAs in Preschools
- Expanding Maternity Leave
- Enhancing the Quality of Early Education in Preschool Sector
The housing crisis we are currently experiencing is one of the worst in our history. Government policy has failed to provide quality, affordable housing for our people and the construction of social housing has ground to a halt. They have presided over a housing crisis which has seen a five-fold increase in the number of homeless families since 2012 (70% from Jan to August 2015), who have been forced out of their homes due to the home repossession crisis and more especially the spiralling costs of rent around the county.
Rent supplement levels are totally inadequate to find basic accommodation in the private rental market in Louth and Meath especially in urban areas, according to the latest Daft Rental Report (Q1, 2015). For a couple with one child on rent supplement, looking for a 2 bed house or apartment, the maximum rent ceiling is €550 whereas average rent is €842, a 53% shortfall.
Overall there are 4,700 households on the social housing waiting list in Louth, which is about 12,000 (10% of total population), this represents a 25% increase in the waiting list since 2013. Against this background, the government has planned a paltry level of investment in social housing construction. His is despite having built only 95 housing units in four years (compared to 538 under Fianna Fáil 2007-2010).