Farm As­sist ap­pli­ca­tions up

Irish Independent - Farming - - Farming -

THE num­ber of farm­ers re­ceiv­ing Farm As­sist pay­ments has in­creased to more than 11,500, the lat­est sta­tis­tics from the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare have re­vealed.

Some 11,546 farm­ers were re­ceiv­ing Farm As­sist pay­ments of €196.70 per week as of March 31 this year.

This was an in­crease of al­most 2,000 farm­ers com­pared to the same time in 2010 when 9,606 farm­ers were re­ceiv­ing pay­ments.

The pay­ment per week has been re­duced by al­most €15 in the past year, from €209.30 to €196.70.

A fur­ther 661 farm­ers have ap­plied for the pay­ment and are await­ing a de­ci­sion by of­fi­cials in the Depart­ment of Wel­fare on their ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mean­while, fig­ures re­leased from the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture show that farm house­holds tend to have much lower rates of con­sis­tent poverty than other ur­ban or ru­ral house­holds even though farm in­come fig­ures alone would sug­gest that there is a high pro­por­tion of low-in­come farm fam­i­lies.

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture's Re­view and Out­look 2010/2011 re­ports that this has been a pat­tern for a num­ber of years and sug­gests that farm house­holds have lower rates of ba­sic de­pri­va­tion than other house­hold groups such as ur­ban and other ru­ral dwellers.

The risk of poverty was lower among farm house­holds than for ur­ban house­holds when com­pared at the 60pc rel­a­tive poverty line.

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