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Snippet Contents:

It is a double insult to people who are no better off for them to be told that others are better off.
The health budget will get a mere 0.5% increase in its expenditure ceiling for each of the next three years. As those increases will not keep pace with demographic trends, they will result in real cuts. The Minister for Health has announced that with the introduction of medical cards for children under six years, parents will still have to pay a nominal fee to the doctor. It is not a free medical card if one must hand cash to the doctor to treat a sick child. The reason I want to address the health issue is because I unexpectedly spent more than two hours in the accident and emergency department in Naas General Hospital before I came to the Chamber. I was there with a person who is close to me. One could not get in the door of the department because of all the trolleys lined up in the corridor. This is why the Finance Bill is devoid of social conscience. It should deal with the issue of people on trolleys in accident and emergency department corridors. The phrase, "bed blockers", is often used. There are so many trolleys in Naas, they are blocking the door. These trolleys are occupied by young children and old people, males and females, with insufficient doctors available to treat them.
The Minister's answer to this is a tax cut for the wealthy. We will have trickle down economics and they will all be better next year. Can one imagine what signal that is sending out? I agree with Government Deputies that it is good to have resources available to make the choices which were not open to us in previous years but we should have used those resources to do something for the heath services, provide social housing or help the people who are sleeping on the streets less than 200 yards from this building.