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Donegal farmers hit by welfare cuts 21.03.14

DONEGAL'S 1,554 farmers have seen their income cut after recent changes to the Farm Assist payment, a local T.D. said.
Deputy Charlie McConalogue claimed the changes are "threatening the future of a number of family farms" across the county.
“Farmers were previously assessed based on 70 per cent of their means, but under changes introduced by Minister Burton, they are now assessed on 100 per cent of their means. The result is that for many farmers, it’s simply not worth their while continuing to farm," said the local T.D., whose family runs a farm in Gleneely.
“This could become the final straw for some Donegal farmers who are already struggling with cuts to support, cuts to prices and increasing operating costs.
Donegal T.D., Charlie McConalogue.
The cuts to Farm Assist are forcing many farmers to seriously consider giving up on the family farm.
He said Minister Joan Burton appeared to have "no clue" about how these changes are impacting thousands of farmers across the North West.
"Her changes to the assessment criteria for the Farm Assist has seen many of the Donegal farmers on farm assist experience cuts as their payments come up for review.
“What we have here is a Dublin-based minister making a cut to a key farming support affecting thousands of farmers across the country, without any understanding of how this will impact the farmers themselves, the local economy and the agriculture sector as a whole," he added.
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