Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, says changes to the treatment of farms and businesses under the Fair Deal Scheme is a great development for older people and their families.


Fair Deal, is a scheme under which the cost of nursing home care is managed through the HSE paying either the full or part of the cost. The scheme allows those responsible with paying the resident’s portion to defer the charges.


Deputy Heydon said: “I’m delighted that the Government has decided to make the Fair Deal scheme even fairer. The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to remove discrimination against small business and family farms under the scheme. I have pushed this for a long time with the Minister having heard the concerns of many Kildare farmers and small business owners.


“The Government has now agreed to extend this three year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate the farm or business for six years.


“This is a very welcome move. It will go some way to easing the pressure on older people and their families here in Kildare.


“I am very pleased the government has approved the proposed changes to the scheme, this move will remove a great deal of stress and worry from the affected families and allow them to plan for the future.


“It will allow them to continue to run the family business without the fear of losing it. I look forward to the matter progressing further in the Oireachtas in the autumn session,” the Fine Gael TD said.


This week, the Cabinet met and gave approval for Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly to immediately begin work on the necessary legislation to introduce the changes.


Under the current regime, farm and business owners are required to give the State 7.5pc of the value of their land for each year spent in a nursing home. This will now be capped at three years.