24 Jan 2012
IFA PRESIDENT SETS OUT ASSOCIATION’S POSITION ON THE EUROUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan told this week’s AGM that he believes Ireland’s interests are best served by the survival of the euro. He said, “We support the Government’s position that the way forward for the euro must include a sustainable path for recovery and growth in Ireland and in Europe. I have seen for myself in Argentina the devastating impact on businesses and families of a sovereign default. There is no soft option in getting out of the Euro.”
John Bryan said, “Currency collapse would decimate our economy, bringing with it high inflation, rocketing import prices, soaring interest rates, and a collapse in inward and domestic investment.”
The IFA President said farmers and businesses are doing all they can to cut costs and improve their competitiveness. He said this was in stark contrast to Government-controlled costs and the regulated sectors.
Examples from the National Competitiveness Council show:<br />
Electricity costs for small and medium enterprises are still in the top third of the euro area; <br />
Our broadband has slower download speeds and higher costs than other European countries; and <br />
Waste charges are coming down but must be cut further.
He urged the Government to renew its efforts to get costs down and improve the environment for business, growth and jobs.
On banking, John Bryan said access to credit at a competitive rate will be a critical component of the expansion of the agriculture sector. “Banks are pushing up interest rates and charges at every opportunity, and getting away with it. I want to see the Financial Regulator tackle this issue.”
Mr Bryan said, “Credit difficulties remain for many farmers. Banks must be prepared to agree realistic solutions that deal with unsustainable debt burdens and leave farm families with a viable future.”
On the future of the CAP, the IFA President said Ireland must be given the flexibility to implement a payment model linked to the current structure that maintains support for productive farmers, and allows a more gradual adjustment over a much longer timeframe.
John Bryan welcomed the commitment from Taoiseach Enda Kenny to securing the best outcome in the CAP negotiations. He said, “The Taoiseach said the challenge to maintain sustainable incomes in farming can only be achieved if we get the fundamentals right.”<br />
Mr Bryan also acknowledged the Taoiseach’s emphasis on getting ‘the right deal …… for the future development of Irish agriculture’.