Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 22 February 2018

Changes to Fair Deal a 'relief' to farm families under 'stress'

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The country's largest farming organisation has welcome proposed changes to the Fair Deal scheme that will dramatically reduce the financial burden faced by elderly farmers and their loved ones.

The Irish Independent revealed yesterday the plan will see the introduction of a three-year cap on contributions from farms and businesses.

Under the current scheme, families pay a 7.5pc annual contribution on their principal residence for a maximum of three years.

However, the three-year cap does not apply to farmland or business premises.

It means the financial burden facing farmers and business owners is much greater.

Farming lobby groups say such rules can place the very viability of the farm for future generations at risk.

Bills

But Older People Minister Jim Daly has decided to introduce the same three-year cap on assets, in a bid to slash the bills facing thousands of families.

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Speaking to the Irish Independent, Maura Canning, of the Irish Farmers' Association, who drove the work behind the changes, said the move would come as a relief to farmers.

"It is very important for farm families that there was a commitment from the minister to introduce the proposed changes as soon as possible. The cap will be a relief for farm families," she said

"The uncapped liability on the farm was causing untold stress to those farm families affected."

A wider review of funding of nursing homes under the Fair Deal scheme is also under way.


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Irish Independent