26 Nov 2012
GOVERNMENT DECISIONS MUST NOT ADD TO FARM INCOME WOES THIS YEARUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must maintain funding for all farm schemes in next week’s Budget, as the estimated drop of 22% in farm incomes in 2012 has put even more income pressure on farm families.
“The farm schemes are a vital part of farm income and disproportionate cutbacks in recent years have had a serious impact on farm households. Farmers facing into a very costly and difficult winter cannot be hit on the double with further hits to farm schemes, on top of finding additional resources to meet increased taxes, property charges etc.”
In relation to the farm schemes, Mr Bryan said, “it is critical that funding is maintained for Disadvantaged Areas, the Suckler Cow Scheme, REPS, AEOS, forestry and the TAMS programme for on-farm investment in 2013”.
He continued, “It is also critical that the Government’s expenditure and taxation decisions support economic growth and also protect the lowest income sectors. Farming is a low-income sector, which has suffered disproportionate cuts in funding over the past number of years. Cuts to farm schemes impact directly on farm income and have a negative knock-on effect on production decisions at farm level. Like all other households, farm families are being impacted by reduced services, indirect taxes and increased costs. In a clear message to Minister Coveney, farmers are saying: enough is enough”.
Mr Bryan said, “Over the past year, the agri-food sector has delivered real employment growth, with potential for further expansion and employment creation in the coming years. Underpinning this growth is a primary agriculture sector that is delivering high quality, sustainably produced raw material to the food sector. Agriculture contributes to economic activity in every part of Ireland and is of particular importance to the rural economy”.