Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (346)

Shane Cassells

Question:

346. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health when the three-year cap on the fair deal scheme will be extended to owners of farms and businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51683/18]

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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 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 three-year period.

A draft General Scheme of a Bill is currently with legal advisers for advice and legal quality control review. Subject to legal advice, I expect to bring the bill to Government soon.

The changes to the Scheme will come into effect in 2019 subject to the legislative process.