Commitment to Fair Deal Funding needed

19 April 2019

Labour Candidate for Longford Westmeath, Alan Mangan, has raised concerns over whether enough funds have been allocated to the Fair Deal scheme for 2019. Mangan has called for reform to the way the scheme is being administered for farming families and called for a commitment from the Government that all cases will be processed without delay.

Mr. Mangan said:

“I am concerned that money may be running out for the Fair Deal Scheme and that reform has stalled despite commitments in the programme for Government. They have been making promises for long enough, especially to the farming community and I am concerned that they won’t deliver.

“Figures provided to the Labour Party show that demand for the scheme so far in 2019 has exceeded what the HSE expected, with over 23,228 people supported so far in 2019. The HSE expected 23,042 to avail of the scheme throughout the whole of 2019. The overall budget is expected to exceed €1 billion this year but we need to know that the Government will commit to funding any shortfall.

“I’m worried that not enough money has been allocated to the scheme. The Department of Health needs to demonstrate that they will be able to keep up with demand throughout the rest of the year.

“Families from all walks of life are under so much pressure when it comes to the nursing home care of older family members, there must not be more administrative barriers put in front of them because of the internal forecasting issues the HSE and Department of Health are going through.

“If the HSE is monitoring the take up of the scheme week to week it is inevitable that families will see delays when there is more demand than money for the Fair Deal.

“I also understand that in the review of the Fair Deal scheme it was recommended that up to 90% of the value of a farm or commercial asset be excluded when calculating the cost of nursing home care. The real problem for many businesses, including farmers, is that they can be asset rich but cash poor. Therefore, the scheme, as constructed, cannot be construed, in any shape or form, as being fair for farmers or other businesses.

“We need to be imaginative and innovative about how we look after people who fall ill, get old and require nursing home care in the future.”

 

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