North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’ Shea this week welcomed the announcement by Government and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People Jim Daly TD of proposed changes to the Nursing Home Support Scheme, also known as the Fair Deal for Farm Families and Business Owners
A review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, published in 2015, committed to reviewing how productive assets are treated under the scheme. The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to remove discrimination against small business and family farms under the scheme.
Commenting on the Government announcment, Cllr. O’ Shea said “I am very pleased the government has approved the proposed changes to the scheme, this move will remove a great deal of stress and worry from the affected families and allow them to plan for the future. It will allow them to continue to run the family business without the fear of losing it”.
People using the scheme contribute up to 80% of their income and up to 7.5% of the value of any assets held towards their cost of care. The value of a person’s home is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in a care.
The decision is to extend this three year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate the farm or business for six years.
The Department of Health will now draft the general scheme of a Bill to provide for the necessary changes to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009. Cllr. O’ Shea concluded “I look forward to seeing progress on this matter in the Oireachtas during the autumn session”.