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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Health Minister to fix Fair Deal scheme for farmers 'within months'

Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Conor McCabe
Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Conor McCabe

Philip Ryan, Niall O'Connor and Margaret Donnelly

Health Minister Simon Harris has vowed to address the "unfairness" which underpins the controversial Fair Deal scheme, particularly in relation to how farmers and small business owners are treated. Mr Harris hopes changes to the scheme can be introduced in the coming months following publication of a review being overseen by Junior Health Minister Helen McEntee.

But Mr Harris admitted the Government may have to wait until the Budget before introducing substantial changes in relation to how assets are dealt with.

As revealed by the Irish Independent, farmers and small business owners will see the burden of high nursing home bills for elderly relatives reduced as a result of the sweeping changes.

Some Government sources say as much as 90pc of farm assets may be exempted, but the exact figure has not yet been finalised.

Irish Farmers' Association president Joe Healy said moves to exempt assets would be "absolutely" justified.

Irish Independent

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