The Government is committed in the Programme for Government to developing a carers' strategy. It will consider how best to progress the development of the strategy, taking into account the prevailing economic realities and the work that was carried out previously.
The Department of the Taoiseach chaired an interdepartmental group in 2008 which undertook work, to develop a National Carers' Strategy. The Departments of Finance, Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Health and Children, and Social and Family Affairs, as well as the Health Services Executive (HSE) and FÁS were represented on the group.
As my Department is responsible for providing income supports for carers, it will of course have a role in developing and implementing a strategy. However many of the issues of most concern to carers are the responsibility of other Departments, in particular the Department of Health.
The strategy will have to be developed within existing available resources. In developing and implementing the strategy, the Government will take account of our IMF and EU commitments, as well the outcomes of the comprehensive review of expenditure currently being undertaken by each Department.