IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said confirmation given by the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar that the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) is an income support initiative, is a welcome development as there have been attempts by his Department to make it a job activation measure like other social employment schemes.
Joe Brady said the RSS is a vital support to 3,100 low income farm families and to local communities where job opportunities are scarce and must remain a standalone social and community support measure.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said the recent addition of 500 places is welcome, despite the fact that the terms and conditions vary from those that apply to the 2,600 participants who have been in the scheme for some time.
Joe Brady said social supports such as Farm Assist and RSS are vital to maintain farming and rural communities. The recent changes to Farm Assist where the 30% income disregards and child disregards were reintroduced is a very positive outcome and IFA has acknowledged Minister Varadkar’s role in this following a submission IFA made last year prior to the Budget.