22 Mar 2011
EXTENSION FOR FARMERS TO RESPOND TO RSS MEANS DECLARATIONRural Development
IFA Rural Development Chairman Tom Turley said that the 2,600 farmers on the Rural Social Scheme have been given a further 3 weeks to respond to letters regarding means sent out by the Department of Social Protection.
Mr. Turley was speaking following a meeting with the Department of Social Protection in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo where he emphasised that the means of farmers on the RSS must be done in a fair and equitable way. At the original closing of March 21st, over 50% of farmers had responded. The remainder have now been given additional time.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that those who reply will be given new contracts from the revised date of 1st June next. In relation to the requirement for a P21/Notice of Assessment for the Revenue, the Department has informed IFA that farmers do have to incur significant expense to prove their assessment.
Tom Turley has urged the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, to ensure that the €46m allocated to this worthwhile scheme is fully protected in 2011. “While 50% of participants on the scheme are on Farm Assist, the objective should be to increase this number for the coming period in line with the new Government strategy on jobs in the economy. The valuable work undertaken by the RSS participants is vital to rural communities and must be protected.”