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End tax incentives for developers of private nursing homes - Ó Snodaigh

28 September, 2006

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called for an end to tax incentives developers of private nursing homes. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh described the tax incentives as a flawed approach and said the money would be better spent in direct provision of care for the elderly.

He said, "The former proprietors of Leas Cross nursing home benefited from tax incentives for the development of that nursing home. That tax incentive has been used by many developers to build such facilities and we have challenged the use of public money in this way. The Department of Finance's report on tax incentives states that the tax incentive was one of the factors leading to an increased number of nursing home places.

"But it also states, 'There is considerable variation across different regions in the number of nursing home beds per capita, the costs to the operator per bed, the rate charged per bed and the average occupancy rates.'

"The Report goes on to state, 'The weekly cost of places has risen over the last number of years. Indecon survey evidence suggests that the tax incentive scheme has been ineffective in reducing the increase in the cost of nursing home accommodation.'

"This clearly shows the totally flawed Government approach of using tax incentives for developers as a means of delivering a very important social policy -- the care of the elderly. The money foregone by the State in these tax incentives would be better spent in direct provision of care for the elderly in the home, in day care centres and in residential homes established and run by the Health Service Executive and by not-for-profit organizations." ENDS

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