Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Questions (416)

Carol Nolan

Question:

416. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health when the legislation regarding the fair deal scheme, which has been approved at Cabinet level, will progress further; the timeframe for the next steps in the legislative process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42017/19]

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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. The 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.

The General Scheme of Bill for the NHSS was approved by Government on the 11th June 2019 and subsequently published. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. The Department will progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses. The General Scheme has been sent to the relevant Joint Committee and the Department will participate in pre-legislative scrutiny when the Committee sets a date in the coming months.

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.