The underlying theme of this paper is that a more robust social welfare policy, as well as better meeting the needs of rural communities, would reduce the need for on-going, ad hoc response by government to industry downturns. Provisions of the social welfare system relevant to agriculture are reviewed, revealing inequities in access to welfare payments arising from the present eligibility criteria. How individuals might choose to hold their assets in light of these criteria and incentives provided by way of rural taxation and the Rural Adjustment Scheme, is also discussed.


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