Fair deal legislation set to come before Dáil in the autumn

Legislation relating to the Fair Deal Scheme is set to come before the Dáil during its autumn session, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Speaking in the house last week, in response to a question from independent Cork South-West TD Michael Collins, the Tánaiste said: “I believe that legislation will be on the autumn schedule, when we come back in September.”

Deputy Collins had asked Minister Varadkar: “The previous government [of which the minister was Taoiseach] promised and failed to deliver a new fair deal bill. Farmers and business families are being penalised due to the current fair deal scheme. Will the government address the shockingly ‘unfair deal’?”

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Micheál Martin also indicated a possible timeline for the legislation, saying: “I do not think that legislation will be dealt with this month, so it will fall to the autumn session.

“I have, however, asked the ministers to prioritise this matter and it is in the Programme for Government,” he had added.

The Taoiseach had responded to Dáil questions from independent deputies Denis Naughten and Carol Nolan.

“[The legislation] has been promised for the last four years to prohibit the forced sale of farms and businesses across the country of older people resident in nursing homes, and to remove the effective ban on the option for older people of leasing out up to 9,000 vacant homes,” Roscommon-Galway’s Naughten had said.

The Taoiseach acknowledged: “The deputies are correct, however, that people have been waiting for some time.

“There have been some issues with some of the stakeholders regarding this matter, which perhaps have delayed its progress, but I am determined that we will get this legislation published and into the house,” he noted.