Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Dáil Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has called on the HSE to pay staff expenses they are owed and not to defer the payment until January as planned.
“Irrespective of the financial situation the HSE finds itself in, withholding travel and subsistence claims from staff is in no way acceptable.
“This is a very financially sensitive time of year for many and by refusing to pay staff expenses that are owed to them, is to unfairly penalise them for the failings of the Executive.
“I have spoken to the Minister for Health about the matter and I am supporting his call for workers to be paid what they are entitled to. I am also calling on the Board of HSE to convene a special meeting, if it hasn’t done so already, to sanction the payment of these expenses to staff.
“The people who are relying on this money are, in many cases, those who work in frontline services in the community, such as home care, community nursing provision and social workers, providing valuable care to vulnerable people in their homes.
“HSE staff cannot and should not be expected to carry the can for budget overruns in this way. When the Minister clearly stated that budgets must be adhered to, he did not mean that this was to be achieved by the non-payment of bills.
“HSE staff have been compliant in the on-going restructuring of public sector to date. Withholding expense claims in this way, as a means of saving the HSE money, is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”