Roscommon IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairperson, Frances Keane, said the Government has abandoned farm families by failing to implement the three-year cap on farm assets under the financial assessment of the Fair Deal scheme.
Mrs. Keane said it is now nearly nine months since Cabinet approved the proposal to introduce a three-year cap on farm and small businesses assets, where a family successor commits to continue to farm the asset for a period of six years.
“Farm families are beyond frustrated with the delays. When Minister Daly announced last July that he had Cabinet approval to introduce a cap and that he would be progressing the matter in the Oireachtas in the autumn session, we thought we had reached the finish line. Unfortunately, that was not the case and we find ourselves protesting.
“In the time since Cabinet approved the proposal, it has cost individual farm families an estimated €40,000 in nursing home costs,” she said.
IFA is calling for the changes to be introduced without any further delay and retrospectively applied to July when the Cabinet approved proposal for new and existing farmers availing of the Fair Deal scheme.
The association also believes that the three-year cap must also be applied to farms that are currently leased, but where a family successor gives a verified commitment that they would continue to farm the asset for a period of six years.