The Chairman of the ICMSA's Rural Development Committee, Mr. John O' Donnell, has slammed the recent Government decision to cut the Forestry Capital Budget from €104m in 2010 to €89m in 2011 with further cuts to reduce that figure to €84m planned for the remaining five years to 2016.
Mr O'Donnell said that these cuts will pose problems in the sector affecting both planting targets and thinning operations. He also pointed out that this move is a serious blow to the industry at a time when wood prices paid to timber growers have more than doubled over the last six months and when – even at these prices – the industry cannot meet the demand for its output with wood being imported from Scotland at the moment.
The Rural Development chairman concluded by stating that the Government is under pressure to meet renewable energy targets and needs to consider the potential of the forestry sector and the need to ensure all planting targets are met and not jeopardised in any manner.
Ends. 10 September 2010.
John O'Donnell, 087-2076589
Chairman, ICMSA Rural Development Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 061-314677