I do not know if today is International Value Added Tax Day, but after the VAT in private education , now it is turn of the V.A.T. in nursing homes. Almost 3 months after the V.A.T. in nursing homes rose from 13% to 23%, their Association came out with a protest letter and warned that the hike may ‘leave on the streets some 10,000 elderly.”
The Greek Union of Care Units and Nursing Homes for the Elderly (PEMFI) describes the V.A.T. hike from 13% to 23% as “exorbitant”and underlines that “10,000 elderly maybe at risk of landing on the streets” as they and their families may no longer afford the payments.
The union underlines that this hike came in addition to the VAT hike of 23% in the majority of food items. “100 legal nursing homes for elderly are at risk to close due to the V.A.T. hikes and the increases of food cost, social security contributions and taxes. the nursing homes are unable to absorb the VAT hike of 10%.”
The majority of elderly people accommodated in care units and nursing homes are either people with chronic and serious health problems or lonely people who depend solely on their pensions to ensure a decent living.
“The VAT hike for the nursing homes translates into an additional 100 euro per month in the average for the elderly and their families at the times when pensions decreases,” the Union stressed and recalled that it was in agreement with EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici who had promised to exempt elderly from V.A.T in nursing homes.
Of course, nothing has happened so far.
Fact is that elderly in Greece have no other option than to seek a private nursing home due to the absence of public facilities for them. More difficult is when the elderly are ill and suffer from several frailness and are in need of physical and medical care.
In Athens, there is just one care home for the poor and terminal ill elderly. There may be also a few other public nursing homes and but much to my knowledge one has to have the ‘proper connections’ to be admitted.
There were also cheap nursing homes in the past but the grave majority of them were illegal and the nursing conditions were beyond imagination.
There is this EU-funded program “Help at Home” that is often at risk as municipalities often cannot come up of its cost and pay the workers.
Another option is “hire an illegal foreign lady” to take care of grandpa or granny at home. Also a very expensive issue, with at least 600 euro per month for the personnel that is mostly untrained and it costs more than its salary due to accommodation and food cost.
PS I could write a book about the fragile and chronic-ill elderly ‘care at home or in the nursing home’…