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Sunday, October 19, 2014
Saskatchewan

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

spring.



"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."

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For more information, contact



Hal Cushon

Agriculture and Food

Regina

Phone: (306)787-5961
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