The campaign to introduce a much fairer system for small farmers and small business people with regard to the Fair Deal Scheme will continue and hopefully there will be good news in that regard in the budget later in the year.
The system as it stands is unfair on small farmers in particular. People who are not farmers and who own a house are liable to pay the going rate for three years on the value of the house in Fair Deal and it stopes after that. However for farmers their land is liable until the person passes away which is very unfair. In some cases the farms have had to be sold to pay the bills and that why I am seeking a review of the conditions of the scheme. I was one of those campaigning for a change in the rules prior to the last budget and we were disappointed that nothing was done then but we will keep up the fight and hope that we will have a positive result this year.
All we want is an equitable solution so that farmers can hold on to their farms while participating in the Fair Deal Scheme if it is needed. There are aspects of the Fair Deal Scheme that are unfair and they were highlighted in the recent Bredan Courtney programme on RTE. I will continue to lobby hard on this issue until we have a solution to the problem that suits everyone especially small farmers