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ICMSA say farmers will be “profoundly disappointed” with Budget 2020

The President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said that Budget 2020 would come as a profound disappointment to farmers in general and stated that there was no sense of urgency being communicated around the threat facing Irish farming at this time. He said that the Government has simply washed its hand of the many challenges facing farmers.

“In a normal year, that Budget would be underwhelming but where we are now – 23 days from the Brexit cliff – it’s lack of urgency and detail will be profoundly shocking certainly to ICMSA’s family farm membership and the wider rural economy. For a start, where was the reference to current Brexit-related losses? It would appear the Government has decided to let farm families take the hit on this which is completely unacceptable.  

The ‘big ticket’ Brexit fund announced was in the event of a ‘No Deal’ – but what about the losses suffered as and from May 12 and we must remember that even the fund before May 12th actually excluded dairy farmers with herds over 40 cows. ICMSA won’t be alone in finding it very concerning that there was not a single specific reference today to our hugely valuable dairy exports and the potential impact in the event of a no deal Brexit”, said Mr. McCormack.   

The ICMSA President said his association has consistently highlighted the challenge of income volatility on farm families but yet again this fact has been ignored in the Budget and put bluntly, inaction on this matter is leaving farm families cruelly exposed to volatility and undermining their very future.

The 1.5% increase in Stamp Duty will hit farmers trying to build viable units and is hugely disappointing in that context.

“We also note the announcement of a ‘Just Transition Commissioner’; I’ll ask the question that every farmer in Ireland wants answered: ‘Just’ for who? Whose idea of ‘Just’?  We want to be part of the solution on climate change and carbon reduction; but I’m very concerned by unelected officials who’ll be given sweeping powers and we’ll be watching this very carefully”, said Mr. McCormack.

“I regret to say that I do not think the Government has shown any degree of understanding about the depth and multi-pronged nature of the threat that Irish farming and food production is facing right now and farmers will be hugely disappointed by Budget 2020”, concluded Mr. McCormack.

Ends    8 October 2019

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

President, ICMSA.

Or

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office