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Drought stricken farmers offered lifeline from Morrison government

Lifeline for drought-stricken farmers as government promises to pay them $13,000 if they fall on hard times

  • Federal government has offered a lifeline to Australia’s drought ravaged farmers 
  • Couples who are coming off the Farm Household Allowance will get $13,000
  • Singles who are coming off the Farm Household Allowance will get $7,500
  • Farmers will also be allowed to earn $100,000 a year outside of farming 

Farmers doing it tough will get lump sums of up to $13,000 when they reach the end of a four-year time limit on a federal government payment.

The Morrison government announced on Thursday couples coming off the Farm Household Allowance will get $13,000, while singles will get $7500.

Changes to the allowance will be made through legislation introduced to parliament on Thursday.

The bill will allow farmers to receive the FHA payment four years in every decade.

The Morrison government announced on Thursday couples coming off the Farm Household Allowance will get $13,000, while singles will get $7500 (stock image)

Farmers doing it tough will get lump sums of up to $13,000 when they reach the end of a four-year time limit on a federal government payment (stock image)

Farmers doing it tough will get lump sums of up to $13,000 when they reach the end of a four-year time limit on a federal government payment (stock image)

It will also lift the amount families can earn outside of farming to $100,000 a year and let farmers count income from adjustment against their losses.

Drought Minister David Littleproud said the government recognised farming is a long game.

‘Support in times of hardship is part of what is needed to help farmers and their communities through these difficult times,’ he told parliament.

The FHA is a fortnightly payment calculated based on the rate of Newstart.

It has been criticised for having a complex application process, while there have also been concerns eligible farmers are not signing up.

The news comes after the National Farmers’ Federation gave the Morrison government its plan for future droughts amid sustained criticism over the lack of a national approach.

While the full policy hasn’t been released publicly, the NFF’s heads said the document largely focuses on defining roles and responsibilities across all tiers of government when drought hits.

NFF president Fiona Simson said the framework would provide certainty for drought-affected people.

‘This policy is not the panacea for this drought,’ she told reporters in Canberra.

The news comes after the National Farmers' Federation gave the Morrison government its plan for future droughts amid sustained criticism over the lack of a national approach (stock image)

The news comes after the National Farmers’ Federation gave the Morrison government its plan for future droughts amid sustained criticism over the lack of a national approach (stock image)

Drought Minister David Littleproud said the government recognised farming is a long game (stock image)

Drought Minister David Littleproud said the government recognised farming is a long game (stock image)

‘This drought is unplanned and the actions of government are unplanned. That’s due to previous governments before them.’

The federation’s chief executive Tony Mahar said the framework would provide a rigorous assessment of what needed to be done during droughts.

Ms Simson said a national drought policy was about making sure federal, state and local governments shouldered the burden of devastating dry spells.

‘It’s something until now every government has shirked,’ she said.

‘So we congratulate the Morrison government on their willingness to embrace and approach this national drought strategy.’

The government has rejected calls from the NFF and others over lacking a national drought policy, pointing to measures it’s announced for present and future drought relief.

But critics say a more cohesive approach is needed to tackle the next inevitable drought. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk