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Labour Blog

Taxation on illness will impact hard

Posted on November 04, 2008 at 06:40 PM

Once again the Budget was the subject of Leaders Questions this afternoon in the Dail specifically rises in health charges which Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore called 'taxation on illness' and its impact on people in need of health care particularly low-income families.

"In the Budget the charge for attending accident and emergency was raised to €100 which brings it to seven times what the charge was in 1997," Eamon said.

"The charge for an overnight stay in hospital is now €75 which makes that three times what it was in 1997 and the threshold for the Drug Refund Scheme has been increased to €100 which is over four times what is was in 1997.

"By any standards these are very substandard increases in taxation on illness because the only people who are eligible to pay these taxes are people who are sick or need to go into hospital or who need the drugs.

Eamon went on to talk about the impact of these charges on a low-income family with two young children and he asked the Taoiseach what will the family do if a child is sick overnight, they cannot get a doctor and if they do not have the €100 to bring the child to hospital.

You can see the rest of what Eamon said in the Dáil today in the accompanying You Tube clip and read the full exchange from Leaders' Questions on the Oireachtas website.

Are you affected by the increase in health care charges? Tell us your story in the comments below.

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