A very lively discussion took place at a public meeting held in the Carnegie Court in Swords last night. It was clear from the input from those in attendance that the government agenda of privatisation is what lies behind the current round of cut backs to the Home Help services.
The government are planning a cut of another 600,000 hours to the service before the end on 2012. This is on top of a cut of over 500,000 hours already made this year.
Many of the home help workers present at last nights meeting pointed out that these cuts are a false economy and will in fact cost the tax payer more as it will put a burden on other health services as home care is cut back.
The Government want to end the non for profit organisations which provide the bulk of this service to the sick and elderly so that they can turn over the service to their friends in big business; leaving them free to profiteer from this vulnerable section of our society.
The protest movement against these cuts and the agenda privatisation is growing among workers and communities. A SIPTU demonstration held in Cork last week saw 1,500 people come on to the streets to demand an end to this attack on our families, our working conditions and our communities.
The meeting reflected a growing anger against the Labour Party who have broken promise after promise to their constituents. Many home help workers in SIPTU questioned their unions affiliation to the Labour Party.
Those present at the public meeting agreed to keep the pressure on the government by continuing to organise meetings, demonstrations and pickets and a decision was made to hold a local demonstration in Swords on the 1st of December at 1 pm assembling at Penny’s.
The recent display of determination by disabled campaigners who camped outside the Dáil and forced Reilly to reverse cuts to personal assistants proves that protest and people power can work. Join the campaign and stop privatisation.