Hill farmers call for Basic Income model to replace Farm Assist
The INHFA has called for a Universal Basic Income model for farmers in receipt of the Farm Assist payment.
The hill farmer group said such a move would provide recipients with greater income certainty and promote innovation and development in rural areas.
The INHFA has called for the trialling of the Universal Basic Income model, with recipients receiving €200/week (for adults aged 18 and over) and €100/week for any dependent children.
The INHFA has proposed in its pre-Budget submission that 500 spaces be made available whereby farmers who are currently in receipt of the means-tested Farm Assist could switch over to a Basic Income payment. The move would be voluntary and on a three-year trial basis.
INHFA spokesman Vincent Roddy said the trial period should be guaranteed for three years irrespective of any improvements in circumstances, through, for example, changed employment or the establishment of a new business.
"The Basic Income would, however, be identified as income in their tax returns and eligible for tax if their overall income warranted it," Mr Roddy said.
"The only requirement on behalf of the farmer would be that they continue to farm, and after the trial period they could return, if their income warranted it, to the Farm Assist scheme."