Farm families ‘waiting with bated breath’ for Fair Deal scheme due to be in place by summer
Many farm families are “waiting with bated breath” to see what new Fair Deal legislation will be introduced according to deputy Cathal Crowe, but Minister Charlie McConalogue has said the wait may be soon over.
According to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, the new Fair Deal (Nursing Homes Support Scheme [Amendment] Bill) aims to provide “additional safeguards for future generations of family farmers and business owners”.
He told deputy Seán Canney last month that the purpose of the amendment will be “to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at three years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset”.
Applicants can choose to pay privately for care while waiting for funding, however, Fair Deal funding can’t be backdated and will only be paid from the date of approval.
A financial assessment will calculate how much someone will pay towards the cost of nursing home care. This amount depends on income and assets, such as the family home or land.
New agri-environment scheme
Deputy Cathal Crowe also asked Minister McConalogue in the Dáil this week for the latest on the pilot for the proposed new agri-environment scheme for farmers not in GLAS (Green, Low-Carbon, Agri Environment Scheme).
“I would encourage all farmers to engage and give their views to help inform the nature of the scheme and ensure it is as practical as possible for farmers to implement, while also ensuring that we have output at the end of it for achieving the environmental objectives of the scheme,” the minister added.