Funding for disability services is a touchstone for the dishonesty of the Government. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and leader of the Labour Party, Deputy Eamon Gilmore, is strongly identified with this issue, having described it as his priority in government. He has reneged on the commitments the Government gave on disability funding. I propose to share with the House details of a case in point, which is outrageous. On 22 October 2012, one of my constituents received a letter from the Health Service Executive indicating that, following a review of the person's care needs, services continued to be approved through the home care package scheme and there would be no change in the services provided through the scheme. Only one month later, on 28 November, the same individual was again informed that, following a review of care needs, services continued to be approved through the home care package. However, the home help aspect of the package was decreased by five hours per week or one hour per day between Monday and Friday. The individual in question is wheelchair bound, cannot stand unaided, does not have any use of one hand, has limited use of the other hand and is unable to cook, get into or out of bed or attend to personal and toilet needs. It is an outrage that an individual in this position has been deprived of hours under the home help scheme. The decision is an indication of the extent to which the Government has debased the health service and demonstrates the dishonesty of the promises made during the general election campaign.
In recent days, I have also been contacted by a 94 year old gentleman whose home help hours have been reduced from five to three hours, a lady of 93 years whose home help hours have been reduced from five to one and one quarter hours and a gentleman of 75 years who recently suffered a bad fall and whose hours have been reduced from five to one and a half hours. These three cases give an indication of the disgraceful manner in which disabled people are being treated by the Government. I support the motion.