Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Local Authority Charges
Question 436: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has any proposals to enure that patients in long-term nursing care, even if they entered such care after 1 January 2011, will not have to pay the household charge in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7876/12]
Question 454: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason the household charge is applicable to persons who have been in nursing home care for less than 12 months; the number liable for the tax under this condition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8165/12]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 436 and 454 together.
The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. Under the legislation, an owner of a residential property on the liability date of 1 January 2012 is liable to pay the household charge by 31 March 2012, unless otherwise exempted or entitled to claim a waiver.
There are a number of exemptions and waivers from payment of the household charge under the legislation. In particular, section 4(2) of the Act provides an exemption from liability to pay the household charge for the year in which that liability date falls if, on that date, the owner of a residential property, which was that person's main or sole residence, is not residing in that property by reason of his or her having had to vacate the property due to long term mental or physical infirmity and that person is residing in another property that he/she does not own.
Section 4(6) of the Act defines the meaning of "long term mental or physical infirmity" as that which required the person to vacate the property in which he/she had been dwelling for a continuous period of more than 12 months and provides that such an infirmity must be certified by a registered medical practitioner.