Farm families are still waiting for changes to legislation to cap charges on nursing home care, with the Department of Health stating the bill was “negatively impacted” by the dissolution of the last Dáil and the pandemic.

The changes have been in the works since 2015 and the Department has confirmed that the legislation is on the “priority list” for publication in the spring legislative session.

Under current legislation, farmers entering a nursing home are liable to pay 7.5% of the value of their farm every year for as long as they stay in full-time care. This means that the value of a family farm would be wiped out by the charges after 14 years, preventing the next generation from continuing the enterprise.

The proposed changes have gone through pre-legislative scrutiny and include a three-year limit to the charges applicable to the value of productive business assets, including farmland.