I will be proposing a change in the Fair Deal scheme for nursing homes especially as they apply to small farmers in the forthcoming budget. The situation for many elderly farmers is that they may have become ill before having a chance to transfer their farm to a family member and when thy apply for a grant under the Fair Deal scheme the farm is classed as an asset in the calculations which is very unfair. In fact I am calling for a complete overhaul of the Fair Deal scheme so it is more equitable to smaller farmers who are adversely affected by the terms and conditions available at present. I will be putting proposals to the Minister immediately and I am hoping that these will be included in the forthcoming Budget.
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