News Release - May 13, 1999
UPSHALL CALLS FOR EMERGENCY ACCESS TO NISA FUNDS
Agriculture and Food Minister Eric Upshall today called for the
Federal Government to implement a one-time, penalty-free, emergency
withdrawal from their Net Income Stabilization Account (NISA) in 1999.
"Many producers continue to express concerns that they have money in
NISA but cannot access it without fear of penalty under the interim
withdrawal provision," Upshall said. "At a time when producers are
facing severe income problems, they need the ability to access their
funds in NISA to pay operating expenses in 1999 without concern about
having to put the money back into NISA at later date. The open-ended
withdrawal option will remove this concern."
NISA is a federal-provincial program designed to help producers
stabilize their incomes by having producers and the two levels of
government set money aside so it can be accessed when it is needed.
Farmers who have funds in NISA accounts can currently trigger a
payment based on a farm income and a minimum family income trigger.
"I have asked the federal government to implement the emergency
withdrawal feature immediately so farmers can access funds in their
NISA accounts now if they want to," Upshall said.
Upshall said it would give all farmers in NISA the opportunity to
automatically access any funds deposited to their accounts,
including the $85 million enhancement announced earlier this
"I have been calling for changes to this flawed program all
along. It is now even more clear that AIDA is not doing the job
and the federal government has waited too long to make meaningful
changes for the 1998 claim year. That is why I have proposed
this penalty-free, emergency NISA withdrawal. Farmers need money
for spring seeding and they need it now. This proposal would get
money into farmers hands immediately.
Federal-Provincial agriculture ministers are considering changes
to NISA triggers to make them more responsive in the future.
"But this change will ensure the program is more responsive right
now, Upshall said. "I look forward to an immediate response from
the federal agriculture minister to this proposal for NISA."
- 30 -
For more information, contact
Agriculture and Food