'We either look after vulnerable people or we do not': Calls for waste waiver for those with incontinence issues

A Cork TD has called on Government members to support a proposal that people with disabilities or serious illnesses, who suffer from incontinence, would receive a waste waiver. 
'We either look after vulnerable people or we do not': Calls for waste waiver for those with incontinence issues

A Cork TD has called on Government members to support a proposal that people with disabilities or serious illnesses, who suffer from incontinence, would receive a waste waiver through refuse companies.

A Cork TD has called on Government members to support a proposal that people with disabilities or serious illnesses, who suffer from incontinence, would receive a waste waiver through refuse companies.

Cork East Labour TD Seán Sherlock has asked for cross-party support for his amendment to the Circular Economy Bill which is due to be discussed in the Dáil on Wednesday.

Deputy Sherlock said the purpose of the amendment was to create a scheme to help people with disabilities or illnesses, where incontinence is an issue, to meet the cost of disposal of medical incontinence wear.

“There was a Government decision taken at cabinet in 2017, which stated the intent for ‘the provision of a financial support to persons with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence to help meet the cost of disposal of medical incontinence wear’,” Deputy Sherlock said. “This has been dragging on since 2017 with every excuse used to not bring it in. 

"We’ve had concerns on GDPR being thrown at us, and we were told in the latest answer that the market will provide. 

"We know that the Government has no intention of doing this, which is why I and the Labour Party are forced to table this amendment.

“Minister after minister has been talking around and telling me the same thing for nearly four years. 

"We either look after vulnerable people in this society or we do not.” 

Mr Sherlock said many other deputies had raised this matter over the years, and some were now in Government, so he was asking for cross-party support.

“It is very easy to design a scheme that would meet the needs of the people that we are all trying to represent here,” Mr Sherlock said. 

“We were told by Government in 2017 that it was anxious to introduce a scheme, and there is an opportunity now to put that into action.” 

Anne Rabbitte TD, the Minister for State for Disabilities, told The Echo she appreciated the intent of Deputy Sherlock’s amendment. 

"I think Seán is 100% correct on this, and I’d go one step further and say all childcare facilities should be excluded also,” Ms Rabbitte said.

When asked if she intended to support Mr Sherlock’s amendment, Ms Rabbitte replied: “I will be discussing the amendment with the relevant minister, as I can see 100% the rationale of accepting this amendment.” 

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has been approached for comment.

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