IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Caroline Farrell 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. She said it was important to move this forward in a speedy manner.
Caroline Farrell also 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”, said Caroline Farrell.
She recognised Minister Daly’s commitment to progressing the changes to the scheme and said that she looked forward to continuing to work with the Minister to ensure these changes are introduced into legislation as soon as possible.
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. 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.”
She called on the Government to priorities the amendment of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 after the summer recess.