Brendan Smith welcomes the passing of the Fair Deal Scheme

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed the passage through all stages of Dáil Eireann and Seanad Éireann of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The Bill will amend the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, commonly known as Fair Deal, to enhance protections for family farms and businesses.

This change to the Scheme will mean that after a period of 3 years, the value of family-owned farms and businesses will no longer be taken into account when calculating the cost of a person’s nursing home care. This will happen where a family successor commits to working the farm or business.    

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “This change is essential to the viability and sustainability of family farms and businesses, allowing them to be passed down to the next generation. Ultimately, the Bill seeks to alleviate any unnecessary financial pressures placed on these families by updating the current law.

“It will ensure that Fair Deal is fair for all, enhancing accessibility and affordability of the scheme for more farm and business owning families.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: ”The Bill will also extend the existing 3 year cap on contributions to the cost of care to the proceeds of sale of a person’s principal residence. This is consistent with the scheme’s core principle of fairness, by treating the home and its proceeds of sale in a similar way. It is intended that this change will also remove any disincentive for people who want to sell their vacant home while in Fair Deal, an important consideration in the context of the housing crisis.  

“Progressing this Bill, as quickly as possible, has been an absolute priority for my colleagues and I in Fianna Fáil. This has been a hugely emotive issue for farm families and business owners in communities across Ireland and one that the Programme for Government sought to deliver on.

“I am delighted to welcome this critical step forward with the full passage of this historic piece of legislation.”