Members of the Oireachtas Rural Independent Group have welcomed the announcement of significant cost saving measures to be introduced as part of a revised Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal Scheme). Speaking on its behalf, Independent TD Mattie McGrath said that the measures are a reflection of the unanimous support that the Rural Independent Group received for its Private Members Motion on the issue in May of this year:
“As a Group we are delighted that the recommendations of our Motion look set to be implemented in the near future.
It is an important first step in recognising the unique challenges that face farming families in terms of trying to access nursing home support and maintain the viability and inter-generational nature of the farming in this country.
Our Motion specifically called on the government to honour the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to remove discrimination against small businesses and family farms.
We also asked for the introduction of a cap on the charges that could be applied to the family farm after three years.
That now appears to have been accepted at Ministerial level.
My concern at this point is that we need to get these changes placed firmly on a statutory basis and that will probably require significant levels of cross-party support.
However, given that we as Group managed to secure unanimous support for our Motion in May, I am confident that we can achieve a similar outcome in this scenario,” concluded Deputy McGrath.