Rural Affairs Measures in Budget 2017 Must Be Supported with Clear Action Plan – IFA

IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Thomas Cooney has described proposals to increase Garda numbers and expenditure on rural broadband, and the extension of the home renovation incentive, start your own business relief and capital allowances for energy efficient equipment to sole traders including farmers, as “important measures for rural Ireland which must be supported by real action on the ground.”

Thomas Cooney said, “Each of these measures announced in the Budget can begin the important process of re-energising rural Ireland. However, this can only take place if Government fast-tracks the publication of their proposed Action Plan for Rural Ireland.”

He added, “It is now time for a whole of Government co-ordinated response to meeting the challenges of farm families and businesses who live and work in the countryside. The increased Garda numbers must lead to extra policing hours and the additional broadband funding must increase the reach of the National Broadband Programme to ensure every homeowner has access to fibre to the home.”

Concluding, Mr. Cooney said, “The extension of the energy efficiency relief will assist rural Ireland’s contribution to addressing the climate and renewables challenges while the business relief will come as a welcome move to the many micro-enterprises across the country that are the bedrock of Ireland’s rural economy.”

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