Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Farm Assist Scheme

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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305. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 533 of 2 April 2019 and taking into account any proposed changes announced in budget 2020, the latest costings regarding the scheme in question over a full calendar year; and the first year costs arising. [44043/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The farm assist scheme is a means-tested payment for farmers on low incomes and is similar to jobseekers allowance. Recipients retain the advantages of jobseekers allowance such as keeping secondary benefits and access to activation programmes. 

The estimated cost of farm assist over a full year for 2020 is almost €61 million and is based on the average number of recipients.  The scheme is demand led and the average number of recipients for 2020 is 5,480.  This estimated costing also includes increases in the rates for qualified children which I announced in Budget 2020.  Recipients with qualified children aged 12 and over will receive a weekly increase of €3 and those with qualified children under 12 will receive an increase of €2 per week with effect from 6 January 2020.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the deputy.


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