First boost for rural scheme in eleven years 09/02/17 : the chronicle.ie

First boost for rural scheme in eleven years 09/02/17

| February 9, 2017

michael darcy cmyk

Deputy Michael D’Arcy has welcomed details of 500 extra Rural Social Scheme places  with 11 extra  RSS places for Wexford.  This is the first increase in places since 2006 in scheme to support farmers, fishermen and local communities and  brings the total RSS places in Wexford to 50.

The work carried out under the Scheme helps to support countless sports clubs, community services and rural facilities. But it’s also an important source of extra income to farmers and fishermen who may be working in agriculture or fishing on a part-time basis, or find it difficult to maintain a decent income. It also gives them an opportunity to develop new skills. Participants provide 19.5 hours a week on a local rural or community project in a return for a top-up on their social welfare payments.

The extra places will strengthen the Rural Social Scheme by supporting more farming and fishing families on low incomes. The Scheme is delivered through 35 Implementing Bodies or Local Development Companies.

Participants must be actively farming or fishing with an underlying entitlement to a qualifying Department of Social Protection payment, such as Farm Assist, in order to be eligible. Most participants receive a weekly payment Farm Assist payment of €188 a week (equal to  the maximum personal rate on Farm Assist) (rising to €193 from Mid-March),, and an additional €22.50 top-up per week under the Rural Social Scheme.

Participation is voluntary and is dependent on the availability of vacancies in the relevant locality. As this scheme is administered on a local level by Implementing Bodies on behalf of the Department, a person should, in all instances, contact their local Development Company for any further information, or for an application form.

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