Farmers from across the country are taking part in an IFA protest today outside the Department of Health in Dublin, in relation to the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

The IFA is calling on the Government to deliver on its commitment to introduce a three-year cap on productive assets for farmers.

At present under the Fair Deal scheme, a person pays 80% of their total income, such as a pension to help fund their care, and on top of this, they commit 75% of the value of their assets as a yearly contribution.

In the case of the family home, the contribution is capped at 3 years, or 22.5% of the value of the home.

However, farmers and business person's other assets, such as land, are hit with a 7.5% charge every year, indefinitely.

IFA President Joe Healy says nursing home fees are placing a huge financial burden on farms, and the Government passed a motion last year agreeing to a three year cap, as farm assets are income-generating assets that pass on to the next generation.

Mr Healy says the changes need to be introduced without delay, and retrospectively applied to last July, when the commitment was given.

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