Today’s National Council of the IFA heard sustained criticism of the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed over his failure to introduce low-cost loans.
Joe Healy said, “While the Minister has introduced a number of measures farmers cannot understand how the low-cost loans have yet to be introduced. This was announced in the Budget almost 12 months ago, yet it has not happened, The need for the loans was never greater given the financial impact of the weather since last Spring”.
Joe Healy said that all the main banks will have to display much more flexibility to support their farmer customers out beyond this winter and into next year. “The cost of borrowing is simply too high for farmers who have suffered a number of hammer blows this year. We expect the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to raise this with the banks also.”
This afternoon’s meeting of the Committee is also an opportunity to pursue the Minister on the range of proposals IFA has put forward in its pre-Budget submission.
“The underlying incomes issue in farming has been exacerbated by the extreme conditions over the last six months. Farm families who are struggling to meet bills will be looking to the Budget in October to provide them with support”, he said.