IFA has secured a commitment from the Department of Social Protection that GLAS payments will be significantly disregarded in the means test for Farm Assist.
Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said that this is welcome news for low income farmers who will be joining the new GLAS scheme over the next number of years. The first €2,500 will be disregarded, as well as 50% of the remainder. This means that farmers getting a maximum GLAS payment of €5,000 will have the first €2,500 and 50% of the remaining payment disregarded, giving a total disregard of €3,750.
In addition, costs associated with compliance with GLAS such as planning fees and capital costs can also be taken into account in the means assessment of the farm.
Flor McCarthy said with around 10,000 farmers on Farm Assist, confirmation of the disregards will ensure that farmers on low incomes will generally not be affected in their means test if they join the new GLAS scheme which will open shortly. Similar arrangements applied under REPS and AEOS.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said IFA will be making a further case for the restoration of income disregards abolished by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton in 2011 and 2012 Budgets.