Test The Market

at

Antigen test kits for sale at a Dunnes Stores branch in Dublin this morning

This afternoon.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly earlier told RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne that the government has scrapped a subsidy for antigen tests as the price of kits had fallen. He said kits which had been broadly retailing at €8 per test were now under €5 and within reach and that the ‘market has done it itself’.

Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall responded:

“It beggars belief that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly would announce a U-turn of this scale, as an aside in a media interview, on RTE radio – after senior ministers spent weeks assuring people a subsidy scheme was nearing completion.

“At the start of the month, Nphet changed its advice on antigen tests and advised that anyone engaged in so-called risky activities – which can be summarised as, leaving your home to meet people indoors – should take two antigen tests per week.

“In recognition of the increased financial burden this places on households, particularly low income households, the government opted to provide a subsidy for antigen tests, rather than offer them free of charge.

“Now we learn that because antigen tests are available in certain retailers for approximately €3 or €4 a test, the government is scrapping its proposed subsidy. Apparently, it believes that this is an affordable price for households to absorb.

“This again shows how out of touch this government has become. It has no comprehension of the financial struggles that ordinary people in Ireland are enduring. Antigen tests that are €3 or €4 each may be affordable for government ministers, but they are priced out of reach of many low and middle income workers and families.”

Health Minister says subsidy for antigen tests ‘unnecessary’ after retail price reductions (RTE)

Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews

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21 thoughts on “Test The Market

  1. Hank

    Donnelly is like the lead character in a sitcom about an incompetent politician bumbling his way from one blunder to the next.

    1. Micko

      He’d be perfectly at home in “The Thick of it”

      “ He’s about as much use as a marzipan dildo.”

      1. The Dude

        In November 2020 Donnelly told the Dáil they were about to start rolling out ‘rapid’ antigen tests.

        Never in the history of the word ‘rapid’ has anything been so slow.

        The free market finally provides where the state has failed abysmally.

        Citizens should learn from this and make their own provision going forward.

    2. MaryLou's ArmaLite

      Did he say pantos can go ahead… but children should not attend.

      Does he know what a panto is?

    3. Clampers Outside

      Find me a politician in any country that isn’t starring in the same role… They’re all up for the same award :)

  2. Skeptik

    PCR tests are free
    Lidl have antigen tests for 2.99
    Free market economics has solved the issue and you or I don’t have to subsidise it with taxes.
    What’s the problem?

    1. Mr.T

      Nobody is going to go out of their way for a PCR with 2 day wait on results or multiple 3€ antigen tests if they dont need to.

      The whole point of free antigen tests is that if you have any symptoms however mild you can take a test at home to check rather than just assuming its a cold. Most people cannot and will not isolate for 2 days (or at all!) while waiting for a PCR result, nevermind the fact that PCR locations are not very well located anymore. Most mass testing centres have closed, nearest PCR centre is over 30mins away.

  3. Rob_G

    “Antigen tests that are €3 or €4 each may be affordable for government ministers, but they are priced out of reach of many low and middle income workers and families.”

    – of course government ministers are the only people in Ireland who can afford a €3 antigen test…. the lady doth protest too much, methinks

    1. just millie

      I think she has a point, actually, beyond getting a dig in at Donnelly.
      There are four people in my family, one of whom is high risk. If I am buying, say, two antigen tests per week, per person, at €4 each that’s €32 per week. Even at €3 each it’s €24 a week. It all adds up. Over a month it adds up to an additional €100-€120. While not everyone would feel that pinch, I know my family would, especially nowadays with the rising cost of fuel and energy and food.

      1. Rob_G

        I suppose you have a point, also.

        In a family of four, with one person being in a high-risk category, is each member of the family really going out socialising 2x per week, every week?

        (also, aside from going to visit someone’s house and arriving with your arms swinging, four people going out to do anything 8 times a month is likely to cost many multiples of the cost of the antigen tests).

        1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

          When did Milly day anything about socialising ? They may need to get public transport, work in high risk sectors etc, that warrent regular testing around someone high risk.

      2. Fergalito

        The ol “would you step over x amount if you saw it lying on the footpath” is my valuation model…

      3. Clampers Outside

        Great point Millie!
        And in that scenario you’d be on €4 off the prescription Drugs Payment Scheme, which kicks in at €124 / month.
        .
        .
        .
        .
        I know these tests are not prescriptions, I’m just pointing out that €124 is already deemed “a lot” (my quotes) for medical expenses per month concerned with drugs.

  4. The Dude

    I heard the most unintentionally hilarious report today on RTE radio one at around half four; the authorities are considering banning children from attending pantomimes, while allowing adults – so Christmas pantos would be adult only.

    On what fugging planet do the nitwits live who claim to run this country?

    An awful pity for them that reports from South Africa suggest the new strain causes symptoms that are a lot less severe; is there nothing to be said for another bout of mass house arrest?

    Indeed, it may actually transpire that it may be better to contract the new variant than get more vaccines. But that may be bad for business. Well, sure let’s have some more manufactured mass hysteria instead.

    The 26 county state has shown itself to be utterly pathetic the more that this played out: Failed to provide antigen tests while the PCR system collapsed, a track and trace system that also crashed and burned, almost no extra ICU capacity added (despite hospitals and hospital wings sitting empty), almost no provision for air monitoring and filtering in schools, and made up special rules to allow the GAA have major crowd events while all arts events were cancelled. In short, a dysfunctional grubby little apartheid state.

    But sure as Diddy said, ‘So _____________ have been doing incredible work’.

    And all the while, RTE, the Irish Times etc. continue to perpetuate uncritically the systematic brain rot.

    Flatten the curve? Flatten the tyranny.

    1. The Dude

      John McGuirk and Karl Deeter make some reasonable points here:
      https://gript.ie/john-mcguirk-and-karl-deeter-ireland-is-hysterical-about-covid/

      McGuirk said that the media had utterly failed to challenge Nphet on its failures and pointed out that hospitalisations were significantly lower than the advisory body predicted. He accused Nphet of being “wildly pessimistic” and said the media didn’t ask hard questions despite having the platform to do so.

      The Gript Editor said that the taxpayer-funded media was campaigning for more restrictions.

      Karl Deeter said that Ireland is “a small country being hard-wired into mass hysteria” by social and traditional media who were guilty of a ‘utter dereliction of duty by failing to give people perspective’.

      He said that the total deaths in Ireland in 2020 “were not much higher than 2019” but that we had become a nation of “twitching curtains, wanting to tell on people – tutting folks for not behaving, we’re creating of authoritarians”.

      “We’re the highest vaccinated in the world, we’ve got loads of rules and Covid is running rampant,” he said.

      John McGuirk said that there were 118 people in the ICU and that we were a nation of 4.9 million people with a health service budget of €22 Billion per year, and that “if our health service is creaking at the seams because there are 118 people out of a population of 4.9 million requiring intensive care, the problem is not Covid it is years of systemic mismanagement of the health service”.

      He said that in 2010 it was advised that the number of ICU beds be doubled in Ireland but that advice was ignored and the number of beds actually fell.

      “We are moving towards restrictions in a sense of panic based on Nphet models,” he said, “but those numbers are not appearing.”

      He added that older people were living in self-imposed house arrest because they had been made to live in constant fear, often despite vaccination, and that the current climate was “ruining people’s lives.”

    2. Paulus

      Adult panto; there’s a whole new genre to look forward to. A friend (!) tells me that porn films regularly play on mainstream film titles; eg ‘Shaving Ryan’s Privates’ So can we look forward to:
      Jack Has a Big Stalk, and A Lad In?

      I’ll get me greasepaint.

      1. Fergalito

        “It’s behind you!”

        “Oh no it’s not!””

        “Yer right actually, I think it’s in and up you now?”

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