Agriculture Minister must re-think Budget Cutbacks – BREEN

November 13th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Deputy Breen discusses the implications for Clare Farmers of cutbacks announced in Budget 2009 with IFA President Padraic Walshe and Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny at a recent briefing with the IFA in Leinster house.

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen is urging the Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to re-think agriculture budget cutbacks.    Deputy Breen claims that the axing of the Farm Retirement Scheme and the Farm Aid Installation Scheme coupled with the reduction in suckler cow premiums and disadvantaged area payments will put many farm families on the breadline.

“Over the past two weeks I have attended a series of public meetings here in County Clare and listened to the concerns of farmers.  I have also met with the IFA President Padraic Walsh.   Many farmers are under severe pressure at present and there is huge anger and anxiety in the farming community at the severity of the cutbacks announced in Budget 2009.”

“The Minister claims that extending stamp duty relief for young trained farmers for a further four years until 31st December 2012 will help to encourage young farmers in to the industry, yet at the same time he is pulling the carpet from under their feet having axed both the Farm Installation Aid and Farm Retirement Schemes.   As Lay-offs in the Construction Industry continue to increase many young farmers had chosen to return to farming and were in the middle of courses to qualify for the Farm Installation Aid.      The number of farmers doing courses in Agricultural Colleges throughout the country has doubled in recent times and now these young farmers find themselves in limbo and their elderly parents will have to continue to farm.”

“Irish Farmers and our entire rural economy are under attack and sadly it appears farming has no voice in Government.  I would urge the Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to re-think these budget cutbacks which are having a detrimental affect on farmers and the future of farming in this country.”