Proposals by the Government to relax the requirement of farmers, and indeed self-employed business owners to avail of the Fair Deal Scheme, have been welcomed this week by local Fianna Fáil TD, Kevin O'Keeffe.

Applicant’s total assets are assessed in determining individual's contribution towards their care. 

This was creating a hindrance to the efficient operation of family farm and small business operations as the inheritors could incur enormous bills.

Now the Government intends to cap the number of year’s farm families and business owners are required to set aside 7.5% of the value of their assets annually.

There will be of course, restrictions put in place so that the scheme cannot be abused: i.e. farm or business must be run by a close relative and the assets cannot be sold off for a period of six years. 

Deputy O’Keeffe says he will be supportive of Government in bringing this to the Dail.