The Australian government will help farmers under intense financial strain due to relentless drought conditions.
The government does so by signing off on emergency “special” payments for eligible farmers, to be made through the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) scheme, ABC rural reports.
Currently, those on the FHA scheme can access a payment equivalent to the unemployment benefit, worth about $ 16,000 a year. The announcement will provide households up to $ 12,000 in additional lump-sum payments for couples. Single households will get $ 7,200. The first payment will be made on the first day of next month. The second payment would be made on March 1, next year.
The package will also include extra funding for mental health support, and is costing $ 190 million in total. The latest announcement brings the Government’s spending on drought measures to $ 576 million.
The worst drought in living memory is sweeping parts of eastern Australia, leaving farmers struggling to cope and asking questions about their future. New South Wales, which just recorded its fifth-driest July on record, has been hardest hit.
Source: ABC rural
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