The Rural independents group have demanded urgent changes to the Fair deal scheme for farmers and self-employed people. Mr. Sherlock himself had a meeting with the Rural Independents group and said following the meeting that the main message was “We just want farmers to be treated like everyone else”.
Mr. Sherlock said that many farmers are having to suffer alone, as there are fears that committing to the Fair Deal scheme could eventually end up having to sell their land to secure their future when elderly and unable for work. He said “My experience is that many farmers are suffering alone and in silence as committing to the Fair Deal scheme could eventually lead to the sale of their farm to pay for nursing home fees.”
Mr. Sherlock said the price is deemed too high for farmers and says the ICSA stand behind any farmer not wanting to make these decisions, “This is simply too high a price to contemplate in the eyes of many farmers. In reality these men and women are putting the viability of future farming generations before their own well-being. It is the position of ICSA that this is a decision neither our ageing farmers nor their families should be forced to make.”
Mr. Sherlock also says the ICSA believe the three-year cap for assessing assets should be applied to farms as well as family homes. He added that the group also support the idea of reducing the timeframe for the transfer of assets before entering nursing homes from five to three, “ICSA believes that the three year cap on assessing assets that applies to family homes should also apply to farms. We also support reducing the time an asset needs to be transferred prior to entering a nursing home from five to three years.”
He concluded by adding the “ICSA believe that reform of the Fair Deal Scheme has been long fingered for too long and we want action now. The Fair Deal needs to be fair for everyone.”