Brendan Smith welcomes approval of Fair Deal reform legislation

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed legislation which will introduce a three-year cap on financial contributions to the Fair Deal Scheme based on farm and business assets. 

The legislation, which was approved at Cabinet today and will be brought to the Dáil by party colleague and Mental Health & Older People, Mary Butler TD, is expected to receive broad, cross-party support. 

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “We have all seen just how important public investment in long-term care services is for those who need it, certainly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“It has brought into startling focus the vulnerabilities of many older people, especially those living in long-term residential care. We must ensure that care must remain accessible and affordable, including for those families with a farm or a business. 

“This is a vital Bill which brings forward an amendment to the Fair Deal Scheme, which will place a cap at three years on the financial contributions of family owned and operated farms or businesses when calculating the cost for nursing home care. This will occur where a family successor commits to working the farm or business.” 

Currently the three-year cap on the financial assessment of a person’s income and assets applies to family farms or businesses only in the case of sudden illness or disability. This situation may place unnecessary financial pressures on these families and could challenge the future viability of the farm or business. 

Deputy Smith added: “Updating Fair Deal legislation to enhance protections for farmers and business owners has been and remains an absolute priority for me and my Fianna Fáil colleagues.  

“I am very pleased that Cabinet has now approved the publication of the Bill, and I look forward to seeing this legislation before my colleagues in both Houses at the earliest possible opportunity.”