Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Spokesperson on Rural Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív have called on the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to urgently address the Farm Assist PRSI anomaly for farmers to ensure they receive full pension entitlements.
Party Spokesperson on Rural, Regional, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív said, “Up until 2007, self-employed farmers in receipt of Farm Assist were not entitled to pay PRSI contributions on their farm income nor were they entitled to PRSI credits. Worse than that, anyone who paid self-employed PRSI during a period on Farm Assist cannot now claim a re-imbursement of same.
“This can have a significant effect on pension entitlements for a small number of retired farmers who were in receipt of Farm Assist prior to 2007.
“We are calling on the Minister Regina Doherty to review this anomaly immediately and consider granting a PRSI credit to these farmers for the years they were in receipt of Farm Assist prior to 2007”.
Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue added, “The Farm Assist Scheme was established by Fianna Fáil to provide a valuable payment for low income farmers.
“While the last Fine Gael led government introduced drastic cuts to the scheme in 2012, Fianna Fáil have managed, under the Confidence and Supply arrangement, to reverse these cuts.
“We are now calling on the government to remedy the current unfair situation impacting self-employed farm assist recipients pre 2007, and to ensure they are granted PRSI credits for the period they were in receipt of Farm Assist”.