Gerry Belton and Padraig Gerety at the Longford IFA AGM recently. Photo: Michelle Ghee.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said the recent increase in Farm Assist payments was much needed.
He also reminded farmers that IFA offers an online calculator to help determine if they qualify for Farm Assist and what level of payment they could expect.
Farm Assist is a means tested income support scheme available to farm families when their income falls below a certain threshold. Farm Assist acts as an income supplement providing a top-up to bring incomes in line with social protection thresholds.
“From March 21, the maximum weekly rate of Farm Assist payments increased by €5 to €198 as part of increases to social protection payments announced in Budget 2018,” added Mr Brady.
“Farm Assist is a vital support to low income farm families and provides a supplement to sustain farmers to continue to actively farm their land and maintain their businesses.
“It is important that payments are at a level that makes that possible and, in assessing eligibility, account must be taken of the reality of farm income volatility, constraints and commitments; the costs associated with farm investment; and, the limited employment opportunities in rural areas.”
The IFA Farm Assist Calculator is available in the Farm Finance Section of the IFA Website at www.ifa.ie/farm-finance/farm- assist-calculator
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