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Cuts could wipe out Donegal farms - TD 15.04.13

DEPUTY Charlie McConalogue has claimed that recent changes to the Farm Assist payment are discriminatory to farmers in Co Donegal.
The Fianna Fáil TD said the changes to the qualification criteria for Farm Assist introduced in the Budget have already had an "enormous impact" on the most vulnerable farmers in the county. He said many farmers now feel it is "simply not worth their while continuing to farm".
“These changes, which were introduced by the Social Protection Minister Joan Burton in the Budget, came into effect at the beginning of this month. The 1,554 farmers affected in Donegal have seen a huge cut in their income as a result,” he said.
“Donegal has the second highest number of farmers dependent on the Farm Assist payment in the country. Low-income farmers depend on this payment to keep their farms in business. I have spoken to some local farmers who have now seen the full impact of the changes and are genuinely fearful about their livelihood as a result.
“Perhaps it’s a case that Dublin Minister Joan Burton simply did not understand the devastating impact that this cut would have on the farming community in Donegal. But the Government representatives here, including Minister Dinny McGinley and Deputy Joe McHugh, must see just how harmful this will be to the local agriculture industry.
"I am appealing to them to stand up for the farmers they represent and ensure that this harmful cut is immediately reversed.”
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