WITHOUT the help of Fianna Fail, the Government has been defeated, as a vote on an Independent members motion calling for a Fairer ‘Fair Deal Scheme’ has passed.
‘This is a significant victory for the farming families and small business owners of rural Ireland,’ West Cork Deputy Michael Collins said following the vote, which saw the government defeated by 51 votes to 48.
‘It is the first time that the Government has been defeated despite the Fianna Fail party abstaining on the vote.
Deputy Collins and his Rural Independent Group colleagues placed their motion before Dáil to stop the discrimination against the farming community and small business owners in rural Ireland, when it comes to availing of the Fair Deal Scheme, if they have to be admitted to a nursing home facility.
‘If a farmer finishes up in a nursing home, the value of his farm, or the small business owner who lives over their shop or pub, is taken against the costs of the nursing home,’ Deputy Collins said.
‘The current scheme is not a fair deal at all,’ Deputy Collins said. We have to ensure that the pressure and worry for the future on many farming families in rural Ireland is removed. The farming community, the small business owners and the fishermen want to pay their way like everybody else but there must be fairness when it comes to smaller farmers and business owners because as it stands many of these people are looking at loosing their farms and businesses if they go into a nursing home.’
‘We can now begin to fundamentally reform the Fair Deal Scheme in line with a more just and equitable assessment method. Farmers are very worried that the farm that they inherited will be gone and that they will have nothing left to hand on to the next generation, now a new scheme can be put in place to deal with this issue’