Cuts hit Mayo farmers hardest
FARMERS in Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency will be hardest hit by average cuts in so-called "farm dole" of €360 each.
The Farm Assist scheme gives weekly payments of €188 to low-income farmers, but the means-testing rules for the scheme have been changed for next year.
New figures show that Mayo is the county with the highest number of farmers receiving the payment – accounting for 1,869 of the 11,000 on the scheme.
The next is Donegal with 1,491 farmers, followed by Galway (1,137) and Cork (957). Given the €4m reduction in the scheme's budget, the average cutback for each farmer will be around €360 per year.
Protesters target teen at TD's office
A WORK experience schoolboy was verbally abused by anti-austerity protesters after he left the office of a Fine Gael TD.
Donegal North East Deputy Joe McHugh described the incident, which led to gardai being called to his office, as "despicable".
The teenager, a Transition Year student, was leaving a backbench TD's office in Letterkenny when the incident happened.
"As I was leaving the office there was a protest outside. I put down the shutter of the office and went to get into to my grandfather's taxi to go home when I was suddenly surrounded by protesters," said the teenager.
"I ignored it, got into the car and closed the door but the same man opened the door and started shouting at me again."
The boy said his grandfather was also verbally abused in the incident.
Reprieve for day care services
PARENTS of adult children with intellectual disabilities have been given a temporary reprieve as a planned cut to daycare services in January is deferred.
The Kerry Parents and Friends' Association (KPFA), which provides training for 250 adults at 21 centres, had announced it would have to cut services to four days a week in anticipation of a cut of at least 5pc in its funding in the Budget.
Instead, a cut of 0.3pc is to be introduced, which means the decision to cut the services has been deferred.