Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Department of Health
Nursing Homes Support Scheme
385. To ask the Minister for Health when the 7.5% property rate within the fair deal scheme capped at three years for the vast majority of persons will be extended to farming families; if the extension will be applied retrospectively to current participants of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25156/19]
The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.
It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period. The cost of applying the change to existing residents who will qualify from the coming into effect of the provisions has been factored into the overall cost of this proposed legislative change.
The Heads of Bill were circulated to Government last week. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. I intend to progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses.