Fairer deal on way

Maura Canning: A welcome change.
Maura Canning: A welcome change.

LEGISLATION that will underpin key changes to the ‘Fair Deal’ Nursing Home Scheme is likely to come before the Oireachtas early in the New Year.

The key change in the scheme will be the introduction of a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual charge on the value of the family farm, for the duration of the person’s stay in the nursing home.

As revealed in the Farming Tribune edition of October 6 last, the move has been given the green light by the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly.

Maura Canning, National IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairman, told the Farming Tribune that she expected the legislation on the change to go through early in the New Year.

“This is something that we have been campaigning a long time for. This 7.5% annual charge without any time limit has been a terrible burden on farm families.

“I would like to thank Minister Jim Daly for his willingness to take on board those concerns and to now make the legislative changes for the new arrangement,” said Maura Canning.

There is a three-year cap on the 7.5% charge in the case of family homes – when these legislative changes are made this will be extended to cover the family farm and will also apply to small businesses.

According to Maura Canning, it now seems likely that the new arrangement should be up-and-running by the middle of next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.