Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Third Report of the Citizens' Assembly: Discussion (Resumed)
Mr. James Healy:
My response to that is that a major point in favour of something like a retirement scheme is farm safety. While younger farmers are no less likely to be involved in a farm accident than older farmers, the fatality statistics show that if an older farmer is involved in a farm accident, he or she is much more likely to die. It is probably a result of the fact that a farmer at 30, 35 or 45, has that extra yard of pace and extra half second of reaction time that he or she may not have when he or she hits 70, 75 or 80, and a situation that the farmer could have got himself or herself out of when young, he or she is not able to get himself or herself out of anymore. Just as the middle of the day is not a suitable time to have children on the farm, I know of no builder at 70 carrying a hod or laying blocks. Farming is equally as manually intensive a profession as something like building. They do not have to retire, but certainly they should have the option. Farming, depending on the sector one is in, being more or less profitable, does not always give farmers the option of putting away a nice pension that they can rely on after the age of 65 or, as it will be by the time I get there, 70.