Cautious Welcome for Fair Deal Scheme Reform
Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has said that she cautiously welcomes government commitments to finally bring forward legislation aimed at reforming the Fair Deal Scheme. Comments on when the long sought for reforms will come before the Dáil were provided by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in response to questions from the Chairman of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee:
“If the legislation is finally brought forward, after years of broken promises and delays then that will undoubtedly be a good thing.
I have been consistently seeking a timeframe for the implementation of the reforms but was told in September that no definitive timeframe could be provided due to the priority that was being accorded to dealing with Covid.
If things are finally starting to move, then I welcome that. Farming families and indeed tens of thousands of other families are under severe financial pressure and have waited long enough.
I would just note however that we have been here before. In June 2019 then Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Minister of State Jim Daly, told the Dáil that the full Fair Deal legislation would be in place by the end of that year.
We all accepted that as progress, but the commitments never materialised. We simply cannot have a repeat of that scenario here. The reformed Fair Deal Scheme must finally see the light of day and be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible,” concluded Deputy Nolan.