Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Questions (724)

Michael Fitzmaurice


724. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health if there have been changes to the fair deal assessment; his plans to reform the fair deal scheme, including the rule relating to the family farm, that is, cap the contribution from the farm at 22.5% similar to that for the family home rules relating to the family farm; when they are expected to be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45681/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions from farm assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department is working on the development of draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of 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. I expect to bring Heads of Bill to Government in the next session before this year end and that the changes will come into effect in 2019 subject to the legislative process.