Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler  has said that people in nursing homes should not, and must not, be charged for services that they do not or cannot use.

Deputy Butler was commenting in relation to recent revelations that one resident who is blind was compelled to pay €2 per day for a newspaper that they could not possibly read.

“In the first instance no-one should be obliged to buy a newspaper. However, to attempt to charge a person with limited or no sight and would not have the capacity to read it is beyond outrageous.

“While nursing homes are allowed to charge for additional services that it provides beyond those covered by the NHSS, there must be full transparency.

“Crucially, unless a service is being used by a person, there should be no charge.

“Similarly any changes to a contract for such charges must only happen on a voluntary basis – they must not be unilaterally imposed on the resident,” concluded Butler.