Aug 112016

Lorcan McCabe, Chair of ICMSA Farm Business Committee

The Chairperson of the ICMSA Farm Business Committee, Lorcan McCabe, has welcomed plans by Social Protection Minister, Leo Varadkar, to overhaul the Social Welfare system which would allow the self-employed, including farmers, to avail of more benefits in return for additional PRSI contributions.

Mr. McCabe said that farmers and the self-employed currently pay PRSI at a rate of 4 percent but receive very limited benefits compared to public sector and private sector employees. The current payment only entitles farmers to the Contributory State Pension but work-related injuries, long-term illness, dental and a range of other benefits are not available to farmers. ICMSA believe it is essential such benefits are extended to the self-employed, including farmers, most particularly given the high occupational risk faced by farmers.

On the issue of additional payment in return for more benefits, the ICMSA Chairperson stated that he believes individuals should be given the choice to opt-in or opt-out of such an arrangement. In addition, Mr. McCabe concluded by calling on the Minister to ensure that any additional charges levied on the self-employed – including farmers – for expanded benefits should not be excessive and recognition must be taken of the fact that the State and private sector employers carry a substantial amount of the cost associated with benefits available to the PAYE sector and farmers would be unable to match such a level of payments.

Ends      11 August 2016.

Lorcan McCabe, 086-1670534,

Chairperson, ICMSA Farm Business Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office