Fair Deal fee-calculation changes may save farming families thousands of euro

A limit may be placed on the amount farm and business owners have to pay towards their nursing home fees.

Until now, patients paid contributions based on the value of their house for three years under the fair deal scheme, but this cap did not apply to other assets.

Farmers (and any other business owner) can be charged 7.5% of the farm's (or other business's) value, for every year they spend in a home.

The three-year limit would apply to farms and businesses from next September - but only if they are kept within the family and not leased out.

The changes are expected to save farming families thousands of euro.

Pat O'Toole of the Irish Farmers' Journal said the rules still have to be passed by Government.

He said: "This is not just a statutory instrument. It is primary legislation that has to pass through the Attorney General's office and through the Dáil.

"It's likely to have (number of) amendments that will cause it to become quite a fractious debate."

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