Tax relief boost to help elderly stay in their homes
Measure should free up delayed discharge patients & nursing home beds
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister of State Kathleen Lynch have welcomed a tax relief boost from Finance Minister Michael Noonan which will help families to look after an incapacitated elderly relative in their home by employing a nurse or carer.
The new tax measure has the potential to free up beds in nursing homes and should also relieve pressure on hospitals by allowing some of the 800 delayed discharge patients to return home. A new amendment to the Finance Act by Minister Noonan today will raise the level of tax relief available to employ a professional nurse or carer in the home from €50,000 to €75,000 per annum.
“This is a sensible and effective tax measure which will make a real difference to people’s lives. It’s nearly always preferable to care for an elderly relative in the home. That’s why the State provides tax relief for people to employ a nurse or carer in the home,” Minister Varadkar said.
“However, labour costs are rising and concerns have been expressed that it may become more difficult for families to cover costs. This new measure from Minister Noonan raises the level of tax relief from €50,000 to €75,000 which will keep home care as a viable option.”
Minister Lynch said: “This initiative will allow families to care for their elderly loved ones in their own homes and will hopefully help to reduce stress levels for both the carer and the older person. At the same time it will relieve pressure on waiting lists for nursing home beds for those who cannot be cared for at home”.
Tax relief at the top rate can currently be claimed up to €50,000 per annum. By increasing this to €75,000, there should be three positive results:
- It would allow families to continue to care for incapacitated elderly relatives within their own home;
- It should free up nursing home beds which could then be used for others currently on a waiting list;
- And it should also relieve pressure on hospitals as a proportion of the 800 delayed discharge patients from hospitals could be cared for in their homes if their families had some further assistance.