Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that the US Department of Agriculture has approved the administration’s request for natural disaster declaration assistance for farmers in all 14 counties in Vermont (Lamoille, Washington and Windham were named as contiguous disaster areas) to help with damage costs from storms and heavy rainfall that began in April. ‘I appreciate Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approving this request, and hope farmers who lost crops and equipment in the spring and summer storms will move quickly to seek emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency,’ the Governor said. The Governor also thanked Vermont’s congressional delegation ‘ Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch ‘ who helped secure storm-related federal assistance for farmers and communities from the spring storms and Tropical Storm Irene. The spring flooding forced many farmers to delay planting, and early season crops were flooded. Eligible farmers can apply for two types of assistance. First, farmers have eight months to apply for the federal loans through the Farm Service Agency, which will be available immediately with an interest rate of below four percent. The loans can be used to restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation; and refinance certain debts. Second, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program will provide assistance in 2012 to farmers who meet certain loss qualifications (a 10 percent production loss affecting one crop of economic significance due to a disaster on a farm in 2011 in a disaster county). There are other requirements to qualify, and sign-up dates have not been announced yet. Farmers should contact the USDA Farm Services Agency for both emergency loans and supplemental revenue assistance. ‘This is wonderful news about the declaration ‘ it’s another piece of the puzzle to help Vermont farmers comes back stronger than ever,’ said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, who spent the day touring the state with Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ‘It’s great to be with Deputy Secretary Merrigan, who knows Vermont well from her time with Sen. Patrick Leahy and is now visiting our state,’ he added. The declaration reflects damage that began during heavy rain on April 1. Eleven counties were deemed natural disaster areas, with three others also eligible for aid as contiguous disaster areas. Governor’s office. 9.26.2011
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Have you seen this Bay Shore home invasion suspect?Suffolk County police are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects who pistol-whipped a woman in a Bay Shore home invasion four months ago.Two masked men armed with handguns broke into a home on Lockwood Road, where they demanded money from a woman and threatened to harm six children ages 7 to 15 that were also inside at 10 p.m. Nov. 27, police announced Sunday.One of the suspects pistol-whipped the woman before the duo fled with electronics and the victim’s debit card.One of the men was caught on camera using the stolen debit card inside Spin City Laundromat on Straight Path in Wyandanch shortly later. Police released an image from that surveillance camera in case someone might recognize him.The case came before a string of 13 armed home invasions in Suffolk County in a six-week span in the first two months of this year.The suspects were described as black men with medium builds, the first between 5-feet, 7-inches and 5-feet, 10-inches tall with a medium complexion. The second suspect was described as 6-feet tall with a dark complexion. Both wore all black clothing.Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indirectly criticised Germany’s coalition government’s pension reform plans, saying there were better ways to support adequate replacement rates than the measures it has pledged.The deal struck by the CDU/CSU and the SPD parties earlier this year included measures to cap the pension contribution rate at 20% and set a floor on replacement rates at 48% of average salaries until 2025.In its 2018 Article IV Consultation report on the country this week, the IMF said this was not expected to have a large fiscal cost up to 2025, but would be burdensome if it stayed in place afterwards.A more “durable and growth-friendly way” to achieve adequate replacement rates, according to the IMF, would be to pursue pension and labour market reforms that would make it more attractive for people to extend their working lives. These would have multiple benefits, including lowering risks of old-age poverty, lowering the public pension bill, increasing growth, and reducing the need for workers to save, it said.The German government has installed a pensions committee to develop a plan for the state pension system from 2025 onwards. The IMF’s headquarters in Washington DCThe IMF noted that public pension expenditure in Germany is expected to rise by 1.9% of GDP between 2016 and 2040, compared with an average increase of 0.8% in the European Union. Pension replacement rates were projected to decrease.Earlier this year consultancy Willis Towers Watson said contributions to German occupational pension plans would need to double to compensate for falling payout levels from the first pillar.Gesamtmetall, the employer association for Germany’s metal industry, said the IMF’s recommendations – not just on pensions – were “in nearly every detail diametrically opposed” to the coalition agreement.The IMF also recommended that Germany improve pension transparency, including as a possible means of reducing household “precautionary” savings.Improving the transparency of future pension payouts at the household or individual level would reduce uncertainty about future pension income and could help reduce precautionary savings, it said.Article IV reports are produced after bilateral discussions are held, usually every year, between the IMF and the fund’s country members.