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Written Answers. - Farm Assist Scheme.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 257. Mr. Crawford Information on Seymour Crawford Zoom on Seymour Crawford  asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan  the amount of money her Department spent on the promotion of the farm assist scheme in autumn 2002; the number of extra people who applied; the number of those in receipt of farm assist who applied to have their situation reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26944/02]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan The amount spent on my Department's recent publicity campaign on the farm assist scheme was €96,469. The focus of the campaign, which I announced last July, was a promotional video which describes who may benefit, how to apply and how means are calculated. It also gives examples of farming families who have qualified for a payment under the scheme.

In the 20 weeks from 29 July 2002 to 13 December 2002, 921 applications for the farm assist scheme were received in my Department. This compares with a total of 734 claims received in the 30 weeks from 1 January 2002 to 26 July 2002 and indicates a marked increase in the number of applications since the beginning of the publicity campaign.

In the period 29 July 2002 to 13 December 2002, 900 farm assist claims were sent for review, 62 of which were initiated by the customer. The scheme has brought about a worthwhile improvement for low-income farmers and particularly for those with children and clearly makes a valuable contribution to supporting those who are at the lower end of the farm income spectrum.

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