Dáil debates

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

2:30 pm

Photo of Seán PowerSeán Power (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)

We have plenty of ideas, and the notion that we are all at sea on this could not be further from the truth. It is obvious that we have given the matter extremely serious consideration and that the entire issue has been through the social partnership process. That is one reason it has been delayed to some degree. However, it gives one an understanding of the priority we have accorded the matter. I stated to the Deputy what extra moneys were provided in last year's budget, particularly for services for older people, and that is having a major impact.

The Deputy mentioned the nursing home subvention scheme that we discussed this morning. People have difficulties, and there are problems regarding the relationship between public and private providers. Several issues were discussed by the group, which has reported to the Government on progress. In turn, the Government has agreed that several principles should inform the next stage of that work. They will include providing an equitable level of State support for residential care, whether it be provided by a public or private facility. We have made a great deal of progress on it, and I hope to report on that within a few weeks.


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