Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan has hit out at the government’s failure to bring in changes to the Fair Deal scheme, to end the discrimination of farm families taking part in the scheme.

“This government promised back in 2017 to bring forward legislation to ensure that contributions from farm assets are capped at three years, if a family member is continuing to farm, to ensure a level playing field for farming families. However, two years later, we are still waiting for the Heads of Bill to be published”, said Deputy Moynihan.

“There are small family farms across north Co. Cork which will be put in jeopardy unless the current legislation is amended, but unfortunately there is no sense of urgency from Fine Gael to bring forward the necessary laws.

“As it stands, farmers could lose a substantial portion of their farm if they spend a long time in a nursing home – this is because the 7.5% contribution charge on assets is applied on a yearly basis with no cap in place. Farm families want to see this capped at three years, similar to the cap on residential homes.

“Farmers are losing out on the Fair Deal scheme, because without a cap on assets farm family could stand to lose their livelihoods. This legislation must be made a priority so that farm families have the same options open to them as other families.

“The status quo is not acceptable, and my party will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure that farmers get a Fair Deal under this scheme”, Deputy Moynihan.