There were over 13,000 total beneficiaries of the Farm Assist payment in 2019, including recipients and qualifying dependents.
New data on income support schemes for 2019, released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, show that there were 5,971 individual recipients of the Farm Assist payment last year.
Apart from this figure, 2,458 qualifying adults (apart from the named recipient) also benefited from the payment.
3,552 qualifying children benefited from the payment at the full rate, while 1,091 qualifying children benefited at the half-rate.
When recipients and all qualifying dependents are added together, the total number of Farm Assist beneficiaries for 2019 was 13,072.
The number of recipients and total beneficiaries under the payment has steadily decreased over the course of the last 10 years.
The total number of beneficiaries in 2010 (including qualifying dependents) was 25,369. The highest yearly figure for beneficiaries since then was 26,685, again in 2011.
In 2019, the state spent some €68.6 million on the Farm Assist payment, again showing a steady decrease over the years, with the 2010 figure being €110.9 million.
The department also provided a county-by-county breakdown of recipients of the Farm Assist payment in 2019, which can be seen in the table below:
As can be seen, there is an imbalance in the location of recipients regionally, with the majority of recipients located in the west of the country.
Co. Donegal saw the most recipients, with 1,045, the only county to see a ‘four-figure’ number of recipients.
Following that, Co. Mayo was not far behind with 994 recipients, while Co. Galway saw the third highest number of recipients, with 574.
If the number of recipients are broken down by province, one can see that Connacht had the most recipients, with 2,187, while there were 1,538 recipients in Munster. The 12 counties of Leinster saw 718 recipients between them.
Other figures of note outlined in the department’s document include a breakdown of male versus female recipients. Of the 5,971 main recipients (as opposed to total beneficiaries) 5,448 were male, while 523 were female.
When we look at age, the number of recipients per age bracket was as follows:
- 25 and under – 29 recipients;
- 25 to 29 – 87 recipients;
- 30 to 34 – 189 recipients;
- 35 to 44 – 823 recipients;
- 45 to 49 – 751 recipients;
- 50 to 59 – 2,347 recipients;
- 60 and over – 1,745 recipients.
Finally, 183 individuals – whose main income support payment in 2019 was Farm Assist – also availed of the Carer’s Allowance at a half-rate – the highest such figure in at least 10 years.
Meanwhile, 114 individuals – who benefited from Farm Assist as a qualifying adult – availed of the Carer’s Allowance at a half-rate – with this figure showing a downward trend on recent years.