Longford farmers to reap benefits from proposed changes

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Longford / Westmeath TD Peter Burke highly critical of ‘opportunistic and populist’ Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath Deputy Peter Burke.

Longford farm families are set to save thousands of euro in nursing home fees under a new proposal that would protect their assets. 

That’s according to Peter Burke, Longford Westmeath Fine Gael TD and Chartered Accountant with a strong family background in farming.

Commentating on the proposed changes this week, Burke said: “My colleague, the new Minister of State for Older People Jim Daly, met with the Irish Farmers' Association on Wednesday evening of this week following previous meetings and a follow up commitment. His predecessor Minister Helen McEntee had also done a lot of research and investigative work with farmers to see how nursing home fees could be stopped from eroding family farms.

“The Minister has proposed to cap the 7.5% contribution for nursing home care on farm and business assets at 3 years, as is the case for family homes. There is currently no such cap on farms and businesses and the 7.5% is charged every year for as long as care is provided. I know this has been problematic for many farmers locally in Longford and across the country who find their family farm significantly diminished after a family member has needed to be placed in a nursing home facility due to old age, lack of mobility or extensive care needs.

“This situation was clearly disadvantageous to farmers and Fine Gael committed to address it in the Programme for Government. This proposal is subject to Government approval but it’s very positive to note that the HSE have made provision for estimated costs in its budget 2018 submission.