Friday, 16 July 2021
Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
Mary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail)
Legislation does not belong only to the Government. That is why I worked constructively on Committee Stage in the Dáil with some Deputies who were not members of the Government and who had brought forward amendments. I took on board three amendments. The first of those proposed that when the Bill is signed into law, it will be enacted within 90 days. The second amendment proposed that when a person who might be going into a nursing home would have to go for an interview with the HSE, he or she would be allowed to bring another person with him or her to support that person. I thought that was an important provision. It was one I was minded to include myself. The third amendment related to the notification of a successor, for example, in the event of an awful tragic accident or of somebody passing away. We are all conscious that farm fatalities happen and people can pass away. The Bill provided the HSE would have to be informed of the change to the scheme within ten working days. On foot of working with the Opposition, I changed that period to 20 working days, which is a month. Once the HSE is informed there is a change to the successor, one still has six months to make any changes. I was conscious of such events, hopefully that will not happen but there is always an opportunity it could happen. I accept the Senator is supporting the Bill and wants to start a wider conversation. Social insurance contributions are eligible deductions for the financial assessment already. Therefore, they are included.