IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairperson, Caroline Farrell said that Minister of State for Older People Jim Daly must retrospectively apply the three-year cap on productive farm assets to July 2018, when Cabinet approved the proposal.
“It is encouraging that the Heads of Bill are expected to be drafted by the end of May. However, this is nearly a year after Minister Daly promised that the Heads of Bill would be brought before the Oireachtas,” she said.
Caroline Farrell said that this means the Nursing Home Support Scheme legislation will not be amended until the end of the year, at the earliest, and won’t be operational until at least mid-2020.
“This is nearly five years after the Government gave a commitment to introduce changes as soon as practicable to remove discrimination against family farms and small business under the Fair Deal scheme.
“The Government must honour their commitment and retrospectively apply the three-year cap to July 2018 when it was approved by Cabinet,” she said.
She added that the Heads of Bill must guarantee that the three-year cap also applies 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.