Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (394)

Seán Fleming

Question:

394. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the proposed changes to the fair deal scheme taking into account the position of farming assets held by persons who are under the scheme; the timeline for the report to be published and implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21650/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 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 3 year period.

The focus on matters relating to Brexit, including planning and preparing in a legal and legislative context, unfortunately delayed progress, however, the General Scheme of a Bill has now been drafted and we are currently at a very advanced stage of the internal quality control process.  I therefore expect to bring the Heads of Bill to Government shortly. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect in 2019 subject to the legislative process.