16 March 2001

Family aid policy not for tenants

TENANT farmers are being excluded from a government flagship policy intended to help working families.

George Dunn at the Tenant Farmers Association says a number of its members have already been refused payment of the working family tax credit.

The rules of the scheme stipulate that applicants have less than £8000 in assets excluding the family home and any capital tied up in buildings, land or machinery.

But a number of tenants have invested in a home for their retirement. This prudence means they will be ineligible for any assistance as the property will be classed as a second home.

Mr Dunn says this is unfair because land owners, even those with a number of farm cottages, are still able to claim. "What we want is equity between owner-occupiers and tenants.

"There could also be implications for other benefits such as job seekers allowance and income support," he adds. &#42