The President of ICMSA, John Comer, has described the reports of changes to be made in the contributions charged made against farmers’ property under the “Fair Deal” Nursing Home Supports Scheme as overdue recognition of an unassailable fact that ICMSA had pointed out “time and again”.
“Whether it’s the patently unfair idea of treating farms as capital assets for the calculation of eligibility for Third Level Grants or contributions for ‘Fair Deal’, ICMSA has repeatedly pointed out that a farm of land is not a capital asset; it is a means by which the farmer earns his or her income. In other words, it’s not an asset; it’s a tool by which you earn. In the event of a farmer having to go into a nursing home for a long-stay condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia that the lack of an upper limit on the charges the State will make against his or her farm means, effectively, that the whole value of the farm would be ‘eaten up’ by the nursing home charge-contributions”, said the ICMSA President.
“Unless we see the kind of changes that ICMSA has lobbied for we’ll inevitably arrive at a situation where the next generation of farmers will, in many cases, be forced to borrow to buy back their family farms. That’s both unfair and illogical in the context of the Government’s much-vaunted commitment to building our food and wider agri-food sector. There’s very little point in talking about supporting farm families and then introducing schemes that do not distinguish between working farms and other types of private assets and which will have the effect of wiping out the family farm in the unhappy circumstances where a farmer has to enter a nursing home under “Fair Deal” for a prolonged period. ICMSA holds that the family farm must be distinguished from other forms of private asset,” said Mr. Comer.
Ends 27 September 2016.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office