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'A removal of stress and worry' - Fair Deal scheme to be extended to farms and family businesses

The decision taken today will extend this three-year cap to farms and businesses.

Image: Shutterstock/wk1003mike

THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved a proposal to change how farms and businesses are treated on the Fair Deal scheme.

The scheme was introduced nine years ago, allowing older people contribute towards their own care in a home, while the state pays the balance.

At present, people using the scheme contribute up to 80% of their income and up to 7.5% of the value of any assets held towards their cost of care. The value of a person’s home is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in a care facility.

The decision taken today will extend this three-year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate for six years.

Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly said:

“I am very pleased the government has today 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 progressing the matter in the Oireachtas in the autumn session.”

A review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, published in 2015, committed to reviewing how productive assets are treated under the scheme.

The extension of the cap to farms and businesses was part of the confidence and supply agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Nursing Homes Ireland has welcomed the announcement and called on the government to publish a review into the Fair Deal scheme.

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