IFA President Tim Cullinan said comments by Minister Hackett today that farmers having to go ‘part-time’ because of reduced payments should ‘be welcomed’ is an astonishing position.
The reality is that many farmers are forced to work off farm because of the drop in their incomes arising from reduced direct payments.
Tim Cullinan said this would be a shocking comment from anybody, never mind a Minister in the Dept of Agriculture. The Minister is effectively celebrating the fact her policies are making farming unviable.
“The Minister is correct that ‘part-time’ farmers should be supported. Many of these farmers are actually working more than 40 hours on their farms, but also have to work off farm in order to survive,” he said.
“The Minister has now revealed the real Green agenda which is to destroy farmer viability,” he said.
“This comes on top of the actions of Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe writing to the banks asking them not to lend to young farmers. It shows they are completely hostile to anyone trying to make a living from farming,” he said.
“Minister McConalogue must clarify immediately if he too feels we should ‘welcome’ the destruction of farm viability,” he said.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said direct payments make up a huge percentage of drystock farmers’ incomes.
“The Minister’s statement today will confirm the suspicion of many farmers that Minister Hackett and the Green Party are running the show and are seeking to put livestock farmers, whether full-time or part-time, out of business,” he said.