Speaking after a meeting in Seanad Éireann yesterday with members of the farming community from the Midlands North West Constituency, Euro candidate Senator Rónán Mullen has said that the current payment support arrangements under the Fair Deal Nursing Homes Support Scheme offer no “Fair Deal” for elderly farmers.
Senator Mullen said:
“Under the “Fair Deal” scheme, a 7.5% per annum levy on farmlands applies to all elderly farmers for every year that they avail of long-term nursing care. For most people availing of the “Fair Deal” scheme, the 7.5% per annum levy is limited to the first three years of their nursing home care.
The non-capped levy applying to farmland clearly discriminates against the agricultural community, will create terrible hardship for younger farmers who hope to inherit farmland and will render many farm holdings in rural Ireland non-viable.
“Another grave concern is that the current excessive levy on agricultural lands could result in an increase in elder abuse and neglect. It would be an appalling vista if vulnerable older people in need of full-time nursing home care will be discouraged from availing of it by those who would be likely to inherit the lands.”
“I am calling on the Government to address this issue as a matter of urgency. Anything that would endanger or undermine the care of older persons is simply unacceptable.”