Humanitarian Assistance Scheme could leave out small farmers – Nolan
Sinn Féin General Election candidate and councillor Carol Nolan has highlighted the potential shortcomings of the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme. Cllr. Nolan stated that the scheme was designed 'to alleviate hardship' for households affected by flooding in recent weeks, but that the means testing element could disadvantage many small farmers in rural parts of Offaly and North Tipperary who have been severely affected by flooding.
Cllr. Nolan said:
“The payment is means tested which means that small farming families could find themselves only receiving a fraction of the payment because of their livelihoods, this is extremely unfair and unacceptable given that small farming families have received very little support from this government over the past few years.
“Many farming families who had their houses and land flooded in 2009 now have their houses and flooded again because of inaction from the Fine Gael/Labour government. It is merely adding insult to injury by imposing a means test on these families who have struggled to make a living off the land over the past few years.
“The Humanitarian Assistance should be made available to all affected by the recent flooding in light of the fact that the flooding has brought hardship to all people affected. It is totally unacceptable to penalise small farming families in terms of this payment. I'm calling on the Fine Gael/Labour government to amend the terms and conditions relating to the payment of the humanitarian Assistance Scheme in order to ensure that people in our communities who have been affected by flooding are all treated fairly.”