Calleary calls for reversal of ‘discriminatory’ changes to Farm Assist

Farm AssistMayo Deputy Dara Calleary has called on Fine Gael and Labour to rethink their ‘disgraceful and highly discriminatory’ changes to the Farm Assist payment.

The Fianna Fáil Deputy said the changes to the qualification criteria for Farm Assist introduced in the Budget have already had an enormous impact on the most vulnerable farmers in Mayo, to the point that for many of them, it’s simply not worth their while continuing to farm.

“These changes, which were introduced by the Social Protection Minister Joan Burton in Budget, came into effect at the beginning of this month.  The 1,817 farmers affected in Mayo have seen a huge cut in their income as a result,” said Deputy Calleary.

“Mayo has the highest number of farmers dependent on the Farm Assist payment in the country. Low-income farmers depend on this payment to keep their farms in business. I have spoken to some local farmers who have now seen the full impact of the changes and are genuinely fearful about their livelihood as a result.

“Perhaps it’s a case that Dublin Minister Joan Burton simply did not understand the devastating impact that this cut would have on the farming community in Mayo.  But the Government representatives here, including the 4 sitting Fine Gael TDs, must see just how harmful this will be to the local agriculture industry.  I am appealing to them to stand up for the farmers they represent and ensure that this harmful cut is immediately reversed.”






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