Economic Recovery Has to Deliver for Farming Sector

IFA President Eddie Downey has said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney will have to reflect the improving economic situation by reversing the cuts to farm schemes, which were decimated during the crisis.

Mr Downey said the agriculture sector had responded to the economic crisis by delivering a massive increase in exports and jobs, which has significantly boosted our economic recovery. However, farm incomes have not benefitted and it is critical that this is recognised by Government as improving conditions take hold.

Eddie Downey said he has written to the Minister pointing out that reversing the cuts to Disadvantaged Areas payments and additional funding for the suckler cow and sheep sectors were key to supporting farmers in vulnerable sectors and regions.

“IFA will also be participating in the National Economic Dialogue over the coming months, at which we will be setting out the key taxation and expenditure priorities for the agriculture sector and for farm families to the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin.”

On the new agri-environment scheme GLAS, Eddie Downey said it is clear that the full allocation will not be filled this spring and the autumn re-opening will have to accommodate up to 50,000 farmer places so that full GLAS payments apply form 1st January, 2016.

The IFA President said the Government must prioritise the removal of the discrimination against self-employed workers in the income tax system, and reducing the income tax burden for all taxpayers is the fairest way to reflect the upturn in the economy.

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