The age limit on the 60% TAMS grant for women between 40-55, cuts out more female farmers than it supports.
That is according to analysis by the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG).
The group’s analysis shows that:
- Only 5,576 women would immediately benefit from the grant;
- 12,437 would be left without access to the funding.
TAMS grant for women
Chair of WASG, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan, said:
“Overall, we are very appreciative of the measures to support women announced by Minister Charlie McConalogue.”
“However, the age limit must be increased or else a key cohort of women will once again be left behind.”
“No business person would accept that they have to stop innovating or expanding at 55, and farmers, male or female, shouldn’t be expected to either.”
She highlighted that just 12% of the farmers in the country are female.
The DAFM’s own SWOT analysis and the CAP legal outlined that women needed to be supported.
“This age limit would see a key cohort of those women who need support left behind,” she added.
She commented further that the group “fully understood and respected” the need for generational renewal.
Therefore, it proposed that the DAFM should raise the age limit to the incoming pension age of 67.
“The 60% TAMS grant is still available to women working on farms who have at least a level 6 agricultural qualification who join a farm in a partnership but there again, women over 55 will be cut out.”
WASG said that given how active women of all ages are on farms nationwide, this age limit was not acceptable. It said this especially applies to women hoping to formalise their contribution to the farm through a partnership arrangement.
“We’ve already had a situation where older women working on farms have been cut off from receiving a state pension because their PRSI stamps weren’t paid.”
“This measure was meant to support older as well as younger women working on farms to help get the recognition to ensure something like that never happened again.
“There are up to 40,000 wives working on farms every day. Farmers are smart enough to see that this TAMS measure will benefit women and men in a partnership situation and strengthen the family farm,” Quinn-Mulligan concluded.
Read our women in ag series.