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Strategies for carers, old people, lone parents and Travellers

Asked by Billy Kelleher (FF, Cork NC) and David Stanton (FG, Cork E) about the carer’s strategy, the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton told the Dail that the government was committed to developing a carers’ strategy.  An interdepartmental group had been set up for this purpose in 2008.  It was not possible at this stage to give any estimation about plans for its implementation, but it would have to be developed within the context of the existing resources available, our EU and IMF commitments and the comprehensive spending review (Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th June 2011, 327).

Asked by Anne Ferris (Lab, Wicklow) about the progress of the national positive ageing strategy, the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Kathleen Lynch told the Dail that the purpose of the new strategy was to set the strategic direction for future policies, programmes and services, rather than to propose new service developments (Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th June 2011, 580).  It would set a common framework of operational plans by government departments,  objectives, monitor progress and identify challenges.  The strategy was developed by a cross-departmental group of 11 government departments, with an NGO liaison group of 12 national NGOs and an independent chair.  A consultation process had been held over 2009-2010, with a report issued 22nd November 2010.  Work on the preparation of the strategy and the development of monitoring and review processes and strategies was on-going and publication was expected in the latter half of 2011.

Asked by David Stanton about the strategy Supporting lone parents, the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton told him that while it had not been possible to progress all the proposals due in part to economic conditions, the proposals had informed deliberations on the reform of the scheme and continued to do so (Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th June 2011, 332).

Asked by Maureen O’Sullivan (ind, Dublin central) about the European-level agreement that all member states should present national strategies for the Roma community, which included Travellers, the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Kathleen Lynch told the Dail that she was satisfied that we already had in place policies for Travellers in the key areas mentioned, like education, employment, health care and housing which met the requirements of the proposed framework.  Consultation on the strategy had already begun in her department through the high level group on Travellers (Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th June 2011, 509).

Asked by Charles Flanagan (FG, Laois Offaly) about the implementation of the recommendations of the all-Ireland Traveller health study, the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly told the Dail that the primary responsibility for progressing these issues fell to the National Traveller Monitoring and Advisory Group and the High Level Group on Traveller Issues (Dail Eireann, Debates, 5th June 2011, 576).  The Equality Authority was supporting a project by Galway Traveller Movement to combat stereotyping.