Deputy Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar to reverse the 2012 and 2013 cuts to the Farm Assist scheme.
More than 1,500 Donegal farmers have seen a huge cut in their income over the last four years.
“The cuts to the scheme have had a huge impact on the most vulnerable farmers in our county and many farmers are now being forced to decide whether it is worth their while continuing to farm”, said Deputy McConalogue.
“Donegal has the second highest number of low income farmers dependent on the Farm Assist payment in the country, and in some cases it is the difference between keeping their farms in business or going to the wall. I have spoken to some local farmers who have now seen the full impact of the changes and are genuinely fearful about their livelihood if the farm assist scheme is not reinstated to pre-2012 levels.
“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to undertake a “Review of the Farm Assist Scheme, recognising the challenged facing farmers on low incomes”. The Minister has confirmed to me that this review has been completed and I am calling on him to now reverse these devastating cuts in tomorrow’s Budget”.