Longford IFA official backs move to address Fair Deal Scheme concerns

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

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Longford IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairperson Sheena Cassidy has welcomed moves to introduce a three-year cap on farm business assets under the Fair Deal Scheme.

Longford IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairperson Sheena Cassidy has acknowledged the decision by Cabinet to reduce the burden on farm families with the introduction of a three-year cap on farm business assets under the Fair Deal Scheme.

Ms Cassidy also stressed the important of moving the matter forward in a speedy manner and said the amendment to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 needed to be enacted as a matter of urgency to give certainty to farm families and to protect the future viability of the family farm.

“I am very much looking forward to the publication of the Heads of Bill as these will provide greater clarity for farm families on the details of how the cap will be applied,” she added.

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“Minister Daly is committed to progressing the changes to the Scheme and I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister to ensure these changes are introduced into legislation as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, IFA has been campaigning since 2012 for the introduction of a cap on the maximum charge that can be applied to farm assets.

Currently, there is a charge of up to 7.5% of the value of the farm asset per annum for the duration of an individual’s stay in the nursing home.

“Farm families need clarity on how the cap will be applied so they can make the most appropriate decisions in meeting the cost of care,” Ms Cassidy continued.

“The uncertainty created by the uncapped liability on the farm business assets has caused huge distress, with the viability of some farm businesses being undermined or lost while families try to meet the cost of care.”