Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Small farmers and businesses, especially shop owners, have been waiting for a revised fair deal scheme for many years. The Minister of State at the Department of Health has announced that he will shortly bring forward this Bill, which was promised several times before. I will highlight what is wrong with the proposals the Minister of State will bring forward. The Department is still insisting that 100% of the value of the farm must be assessed for the fair deal scheme, as well as the family home, which is wrong. If a farmer gets sick or hurt, which is a possibility because of the type of physical work involved, the young person taking over must have been farming for three years and must continue to farm for six years. What is going to happen when young children cannot take over the farm and a wife would have no other income if she did not rent the farm, for example? That is very wrong. Has the Minister of State any regard for small farmers and rural Ireland, where people are barely surviving? It is very wrong and after all the time we have waited, is this the best the Minister of State can do?