Minister of State and TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has said that the approval of proposals for changes to the Fair Deal scheme by Government is another welcome step for family farms and businesses in Kildare.

“The changes will introduce a cap of 3 years on the financial contribution that is required to be paid under the Fair Deal scheme from a business or family farm where the business or farm continues to operated.  Up to now while a 3 year cap is in place to cover the contribution due from principal private residences, no such cap exists for businesses or farms.  This has led to cases where the viability of the farming operation or business can be under threat from the cost of nursing home care.

“These changes have been under consideration for some time and were progressed by my former colleague Jim Daly when he was minister in the area of older people in the last Dail term.

“It was a key commitment in the programme for Government to implement these changes and I am delighted that cabinet approval for the proposed changes this week leaves the way for the Bill to be published and brought before the Dail and Seanad for debate and approval.

“The cost of nursing home care for a family member can be a huge burden at a time of considerable worry and stress.  The risk of losing a family business or farm due to those costs is an added fear for many Kildare families.

“I am glad to see these proposed changes approved by Cabinet and I welcome the Bill coming through the legislative stages where it is likely to receive cross part support.