Fair Deal Q&A: What changes are being made?

 

Currently a farm can be used to help offset the costs of nursing care but the three-year cap does not apply. Photo: PA
Currently a farm can be used to help offset the costs of nursing care but the three-year cap does not apply. Photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

What is Fair Deal?

Under Fair Deal, a person pays 80pc of their total income, such as a pension, to help fund their nursing home care. On top of this, they commit 7.5pc of the value of their assets as a yearly contribution, capped at 22.5pc after three years.

Why do farmers and businesspeople want a special deal?

They don't - but they want farm and business assets to be factored into the scheme. Currently a farm can be used to help offset the costs of nursing care but the three-year cap does not apply.

For example, if a person spends 10 years in a nursing home, the State is entitled to recoup 75pc of the farm's value.

What changes are being made?

The Government has agreed to apply the three-year cap to farm and business assets.

That was very simple then?

Yes, but there will be stipulations attached. Ministers only want 'genuine cases' to benefit from the State subsidy.

Therefore, the farm or business must be operated by a nominated family successor for at least six years after the original owner moves into a nursing home.

Is this acceptable to farmers and businesspeople?

They understand that there must be some limits to the State's commitment. However, some concern has been raised that the successor will not be able to lease land or property.

What happens next?

The Department of Health will now engage in pre-legislative scrutiny and will engage with the Attorney General in preparing the legislation for publication.

Irish Independent