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'Concern' older farmers cannot access online services and supports

Feb 8, 2023 18:00 By News Northern Sound
'Concern' older farmers cannot access online services and supports
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'Digital-only access to information and applications will be a barrier to thousands'

Thousands of older farmers cannot access State and business service and supports due to the increasing shift of information and application forms to online. This is according to research carried out by 'Age Action Ireland'.

Speaking to Northern Sound, Celine Clarke who is head of advocacy with the organisation believes this issues is having a major impact on older farmers. Celine revealed there is 'concern' over the digital exclusion of older people. She added that over the last 13 years, most people in Ireland have adapted to internet use, however according to research, two thirds over the age of 65 or older are not using the internet at all or have below average skills.

Celine added, "From the research there is approximately 42,000 farmers in the country aged over 65, and 25% of this group don't use the internet, rising to 56% to those aged over 75. Since 2016 one in four people aged 65 or over who were engaged in paid work were farmers, so we can see that the farming community and the older farmer makes a huge contribution to our economy as well as our community.

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"Unfortunately when you compare that data against the digital skills data, we know people are in serious trouble. The 56% of people aged 65 or older do not use the internet, but they may also be working as farmers and if there's a pressure on them to access the public service which is digital-only or digital-first then they will have a serious difficulty."

 

 

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