Farm Assist Hit By Continuing Budget Cuts

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to defend the current Farm Assist budget from any further erosion. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he received confirmation via  a Parliamentary Question that the budget for the Scheme has suffered a €17 million cut during the 2010-2014 period:

“The Farm Assist payment is there to help those farmers who are struggling to subsist on a limited farm income.

It is a vital component of thousands of farming household’s weekly budget and it must be protected.

What I find astonishing about the information I have received is that although the numbers of those in receipt of the payment fell by a mere 905 in the four year period under review; the corresponding budget fell by a massive €17.2 million.

This seems completely disproportionate and is indicative of how savage the attack has been on Farm Assist recipients.

In light of the fact that there are continuing challenges facing the beef sector in terms of specification criteria and that the paradise promised under the new dairy and milk prices regime is already turning sour, it is vitally important that supports for farming families are maintained and not slashed,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


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