Farmers feel they are 'halfways there' on sealing nursing home deal
Conditions limiting access to the new nursing home care deal for farmers, in situations where land is leased out, have been described as "unfair".
The changes to the Fair Deal scheme for farmers and business owners have been welcomed by farm lobby groups after sustained campaigning for several years.
A new three-year cap on contributions, based on the percentage of a farmers' assets that will go towards nursing home care, will shave tens of thousands of euro off of the cost for families.
Up to now, the cap has only applied to the family home - but runs indefinitely for farm or business assets.
This has been a major deterrent for these families. Now, the same cap will apply across the board.
However, it is understood the deal will be "conditional" and only apply to farmland and business premises that are used by the family and not leased out to a third party.
If land or premises are leased out, it will then be deemed an "investment asset" and the cap will not apply.
Lorcan McCabe from the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) said they welcomed the cap of three years as a "huge" relief for farmers and it means the farm won't be "eaten away" for many years.