IFA looks to France

The incoming government should be as bold as the French government and cut farmers’ social charges by 10%, said IFA dairy chairman Sean O’Leary.

The response of French prime minister Manuel Valls to the income crisis facing pig and dairy farmers will cost €500m. The European Commission is also financing a French-backed plan to put farm products in cold storage until prices rise.

“I am struck by the fact the French government did not invoke EU state aids as an obstacle to the decision made this time, nor for previous interventions. I want our new government to be bolder than its predecessor in pushing harder for tax solutions to volatile farming incomes,” Mr O’Leary said.

“The French system of ‘social charges’ gives old age pension, health and life/ disability insurance for farmer and spouse, and a number of other family benefits. The French government’s 10% cut in contributions offers relief of around €1,200 for the average dairy farmer, based on 2014 incomes,” he said.


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