Sneaky’ cut in nursing home Covid cash comes under fire. When a man let’s one party down and joins another like Skin Head Donnelly, you get a measure of him straight away. Donnelly is ambitious. He wants to be the Emperor that is why a couple of years ago at midnight he removed the welly boots and cancelled his mission “Among the Wicklow hills”. He phoned former Altar Boy turned Autocrat Martin and was welcomed with both wellies into the FF party. I watched Donnelly on numerous programmes and you would know, just as you can scent out dodgy perfurme, he is false, so false that even Ester Lauder refused him a job as a student. It turned out at the time that he had more sprays on his head than stocked in BT’s. Now he is only hours in Health Disaster and Donnelly has shown how ruthless power can make you when you put on those Emperor’s Clothes. I say to you now Mr Skin Head Donnelly – Shame on you for cutting the payments to our most vulnerable people especially during COVID-19 in our nursing homes and more shame in the way you tried to bluff it with camoflage but fair play to Alan Kelly he caught you with your boxers down and wellies on. Your seat next time will be up for grabs and I believe John Ram is going independent for Wicklow.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has come under fire for a “sneaky” cut to State support for nursing homes struggling to protect residents from the coronavirus.
In one of his first acts as minister, Mr Donnelly extended the Government’s multimillion-euro bailout fund for nursing homes for another three months.
The scheme will allow nursing homes to draw down funding based on the number of residents in each centre until September.
However, while the scheme was extended, the amount that can be claimed was cut by 25pc.
Under the original temporary assistance payment scheme, nursing homes could claim €800-a-month if they had 40 residents, €400 for the next 40 and €200 for each additional person staying in their care.
However, under the revised scheme announced by Mr Donnelly on Tuesday, nursing homes can now only claim €600-a-month for the first 40 residents, €300 for the next 40 and €150 for each additional resident.
The new minister also introduced a €60,000 cap on how much could be claimed.
Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said the new minister pledged “the sun, moon and the stars” to the health service before his appointment.
“Yet now one of his first acts is to take away from a sector of society that was hit the hardest by Covid,” Mr Kelly added.
“The sneaky reduction wasn’t even announced, but rather presented as though the status quo was being maintained.
“He didn’t say in the Dail that he was cutting each of the payments by 25pc,” Mr Kelly said.
In the Dail last week, Mr Donnelly said a “considerable amount of support” had been given to nursing homes in parallel to the scheme.
He said this included personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, temporary accommodation for nursing home staff and assistance from the HSE’s crisis response teams.
“The extension of the scheme also recognises that these other supports have been deployed as well,” Mr Donnelly told the Dail.
“The extended scheme, therefore, will operate with some amendments.”
The minister then detailed the new amounts that could be claimed under the revised scheme, but did not mention the previous figures.
Similarly, a press release announcing the extension of the scheme did not reference what was previously available to nursing homes or how much was being cut in future payments.
FF are back, and the Lies and Double crossing are just beginning? Fred. There are many inconsistencies in the Fair Deal scheme; You can keep your home but you pay 7.5% of its value for a number of years. Then you may 80% of your income from all sources with 20% retained for the benefit of the person entering the home. Fred says where does this invisible 20% go? Two people tell me that they don’t know what happens to the 20% or where it goes? We need transparency. Then add the extra source of income that these homes have ie extras which can include anything from doing the persons nails to handing out medication at night or booking a taxi to take the person to the hospital and each has a charge. Some transparency in the nursing home sector is urgently needed.
He was under fire yesterday after details of a previously undisclosed three-month driving ban were revealed by the Irish Independent.
Cowen did not inform the Taoiseach before being appointed to Cabinet last weekend, and last night the Green Party declined to express confidence in their new Government colleague.
Cowen has said he is “profoundly sorry” and Martin has backed his minister while expressing disappointment that he was not told about it.
Barry Cowen was stopped at a checkpoint on his way home from the All-Ireland Football Final in September 2016. He was breathalysed, found to be over the limit and was later issued with a fixed-charge penalty notice, €200 fine and a three-month driving ban.
The Minister was not driving on a full licence and was hit with a three-month road ban because he was on a learner permit. Cowen, who was 49 when the incident occurred, told the Sunday Independent last night he should not have been driving on a provisional licence.
“At that time I had, like many drivers in Ireland, allowed the situation where I was permitted under the law to continue to drive as a provisional licence holder to persist. I should not have done this and I have regularised and updated my licence since.”
It is unclear how long Cowen was driving on a learner permit, or when he “regularised and updated” his licence.
The Green Party leader and new Transport Minister Eamon Ryan declined an opportunity to express confidence in Barry Cowen yesterday. “No comment from Eamon,” a spokesman for Ryan said.
A spokesman for Tanaiste Leo Varadkar did not respond to repeated requests for a comment from Leo Varadkar on the matter. However, Fine Gael appeared to back the Offaly TD as Minister of State Damien English told RTE that his new Government colleague made a mistake and was wrong.
“No one knows better than Barry that he was wrong on this, and he’s made that clear. And that’s number one for me, it’s not trying to defend it or excuse it. He straight up says he was wrong, he was caught, he took his punishment and for me it’s very important that no matter who you are, the rigours of the law are there.”
English declined to be drawn on whether Cowen should have notified the Taoiseach, saying “that’s up to them”.
Martin’s spokesperson yesterday declined to comment on whether Cowen would have been appointed to Cabinet had the Taoiseach known about the offence in advance of last Saturday.