The Government must deliver on short-term measures in the Budget to directly support farm incomes, the Irish Farmers Association declared yesterday.
Joe Healy, president, launching the association’s pre-Budget submission in Dublin, said longer-term measures to tackle income volatility must also be delivered.
“A farm income crisis is being experienced in many sectors in Ireland in 2016, caused by a combination of low product prices, a bad spring, and negative political events. Farm families are under huge pressure as cash flow tightens and the viability of their family farm is put at risk.
“In addition, the recent vote by the UK to leave the EU has created major uncertainty and immediate price challenges,” he said.
Mr Healy said the Budget is an opportunity for the Government to take funding and taxation decisions that will directly address the farm income difficulties and underpin the sector’s longer-term development.
He urged the Government to deliver on its funding commitment to the Rural Development Programme, following a reduction of almost 40% in funding to the agriculture budget during the downturn.
“Increased funding for farm schemes will deliver programmes of support for low-income farmers, support the provision of environmental services, encourage young farmers, and promote on-farm investment.”
IFA Farm business chairman, Martin Stapleton, said the Budget provides an opportunity to address through the taxation system a number of challenges in farming including income volatility.
A more targeted and individualised volatility scheme is required.
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