Minister of State calls for flood related financial assistance

The scene from the town bridge in Athlone as flood waters swelled last weekend

The scene from the town bridge in Athlone as flood waters swelled last weekend

Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, is calling for a Farm Recovery Grant to assist farmers struggling with livestock and damage to farm buildings during the current flooding events.

Minister Moran is calling on Government to introduce a fund to support farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property as a result of the current flooding.

The grants would cover a number of repair costs, including removing debris, re-cultivation and replacing damaged field gates. Minister Moran also believes that the fund should also be made available to farming communities to offset the increase in fodder costs as a result of the bad weather.

“The UK Government have launched a similar fund in recent days and I believe that we should do the same here. Some €2m has been made available by the UK Government to support their farming community and I think that is something we need to look at here also.

“The fund would simply help affected farmers get back on their feet. In recent days I have seen at first hand the impacts that the current spate of flooding is having on farming communities right across the country.

“Government must recognise this unprecedented weather and support farmers following extreme flooding events. The money could be used to help cover unexpected costs such as buying increased levels of fodder, rebuilding fences and stone walls and recultivating damaged fields,” Minister Moran stated.

Defence Forces Pay Allowances

Meanwhile, the Minister wishes to see those Defence Force personnel who have been deployed to help with flood alleviation measures compensated fully by increasing their pay allowances while on duty.

The Defence Forces has provided nearly 350 troops and 50 trucks to deal with the flooding crisis in the past ten days.

“Soldiers have been deployed in recent days around the country, including Athlone and I would like to see them being properly paid for the work they are doing in defending communities.

“Allowances such as the standard Security Duty Allowance (SDA ) must be urgently looked at so that soldiers are properly paid for the work they are doing during the current flooding situation.

“The current rates of SDA are just too low and I don’t believe that this is adequate by any objective standards. The allowances should be increased to a level that reflects our respect and admiration that we all hold our Defence Force personnel in.

“I am calling on the Minister for Defence to recognise the work that the soldiers are doing in difficult circumstances and that they be paid properly for the time that they are putting in.”

“No other public servants or those working for the State would be expected to undertake such work without being paid properly. I think it is only fair and right that soldiers would be properly compensated. The current allowance is just not feasible and must be increased,” Minister Moran affirmed.

 

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