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IFA Farm Business Chairman Martin Stapleton has said it’s vital that all possible actions are taken to stop AIB and Rabobank from selling further farm loans to unregulated vulture funds.  “Our view is that by selling these loans, banks which approved the loans in the first place are abdicating their responsibilities by throwing their customers to the wolves,” he said.

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IFA Farm Business Chairman Martin Stapleton said the provision in the Finance Bill to limit tax reliefs for young farmers sends a very bad signal to the next generation of farmers.

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Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance today, IFA President Joe Healy accused vulture funds of killing off farm businesses that have the potential to repay their debts over time and return to viability.

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Budget Report 2019

The macroeconomic outlook for 2019 is generally positive, Ireland is expected to achieve GDP growth of 4%, down slightly on previous years. Levels of employment are increasing and Government debt as a % of GDP is falling, it is expected to reach 63.5% in 2019, down from highs of 120% in 2012/20131. Debt levels are more accurately reflected as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI), which also reflect a downward trend.

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In what has been a very challenging year for farmers, IFA President Joe Healy said today’s Budget was some acknowledgment of the income difficulties in agriculture, but the upcoming major issues of Brexit and CAP will require much more Government commitment and support for farming.

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