Irish Government Slammed Over ‘Death Tax’ Plan

The Government has come in for some strong local criticism over the new Fair Deal nursing home care scheme. Under the new scheme, the Government proposes to take a percentage of the value of the family home to help finance the costs of care for elderly people in the latter years of their life.

Brody Sweeney, a Fine Gael election candidate in Dublin North East for the next general election, said that instead of the Government’s plans to take a percentage of family assets, more State resources should be invested into elderly care. “These new proposals represent a 15 per cent death tax from a Government that claims to be a low tax Government,” Mr Sweeney stated.

Mr Sweeney believes the Government has not backed up its elderly care package sufficiently. “The elderly care package is based on three pillars, first of which is good community care services,” he declared. “But these are not in place and will not be in place within the next year. The Government also promised an effective nursing home inspectorate that guarantees high standards but this is still not in place 19 months after the Leas Cross episode.”

Mr Sweeney told Northside People that many older residents have contacted him to express their concerns about the scheme. They are worried that the home they have invested in since they were young may not now be available for them to leave to their families, as they had planned.

“I am calling on the Government to take the legitimate concerns of our elderly into account, particularly those few who are vulnerable and need nursing home care,” Mr Sweeney added.

Meanwhile, Brendan Ryan, Labour’s candidate in Dublin North for the next general election, said he was also totally opposed to the Fair Deal proposal.
“Older people who have made sacrifices over the years to educate their children and who have paid their taxes are now being treated differently than other groups in society when they require long-term care,” stated Mr Ryan.

“The provision of and funding of adequate care for older people, whether at home or in long-term nursing home care, is a challenge that must be grasped by everyone in society. In view of the abundance of money available to the Government, this should not be a problem. It’s all about making choices,” Mr Ryan added.