Fears of family feuds delay changes to Fair Deal Scheme
FEARS over the potential for family feuds have delayed changes to the Fair Deal Scheme that had been promised as a massive boost to Kilkenny business owners and farmers.
The Government is preparing new legislation that will limit the financial burden of nursing home fees for parents who pass on the family business or farm to the next generation.
However, the plan has hit a roadblock after a number of unforeseen scenarios were identified by officials. One major concern is that an elderly farmer or business owner could move into a nursing home on the understanding that one child would take over the business – but ultimately the farm or business could be left to another child.
Government officials are concerned that such a scenario could result in a dispute over who pays the nursing home bill, with the potential to end up in court.
Farmers and business owners had been expecting changes to be brought before the end of this year around the Fair Deal Scheme to reduce the burden of nursing home fees. This would work by putting a cap on the amount of money the Government could demand from assets such as these.
Earlier this year The Irish Independent revealed that Minister for Older People Jim Daly is planning to give farmland business assets the same status as the family home under the Fair Deal Scheme.
Under the current regime, farming families and small business owners are required to set aside 7.5pc of the value of their property annually in order to fund a place in a nursing home. The overhaul will see this bill capped at three years.