Farmers in Ireland have been protesting again recently about low farm incomes and calling for further state support. Yet farmers already receive large sums in EU and Irish state transfers to support their incomes, amounting to IR 32.4 billion per year. This amount now exceeds the value of farm income, raising the question of where this support has gone, and why are farmers complaining again?
Farm Incomes--Myths and Realities examines current trends in farm incomes policy and shows the value of these transfers to Irish farmers and the Irish economy. It then analyzes the distribution of these payments among the farming population, and the relative importance of support to different types and sizes of farms. The book also compares total farm household incomes (including off-farm income) with the total incomes of non-farm households and examines the impact of social welfare transfers and income taxation on this comparison. It also highlights the extent and sources of rural poverty and deprivation. Finally, it recommends alternative mechanisms to provide a safety net for farm incomes within the context of ongoing changes in the EU's agricultural policy.
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