THE nursing home refund scheme, sparked by a legal blunder, is being wound down after costing the taxpayer over €477m, it was learned yesterday.
The refund scheme, which began in 2006, was only due to last for two years but has dragged on at great expense. The scheme had to be put in place by the coalition government of 2006 after a Supreme Court ruling.
The saga dated back to the 1970s when long-stay residents with medical cards in nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals were first charged part of their pension or allowance for their upkeep.
But although it was accepted people in state care had to contribute to the cost of their care the entire process was illegal because there was no underpinning legislation. This was only discovered three decades later, leaving the government of 2006 to deal with the headache.