‘Ground breaking’ €150m loan fund tops Budget measures for farmers
Farmers can avail of loans up to €150,000 at 2.9pc under new measures introduced in Budget 2017
Falling farm incomes were the subtext of the measures introduced for farmers under Budget 2017, which include a €150m loan fund and a number of taxation measures.
The main measure announced for farmers in the Budget is a €150m fund to facilitate low-interest loans for farmers. Under the measure, which will be administrated by the main banks, farmers can avail of loans of up to €150,000 at interest rates of 2.95pc.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed described the fund as “ground breaking” and said farmers should look at their own financial circumstances to see if the loan schemes can work for them.
The €150m is a one off measure from the Department, but the Minister said it was a template that can be revisited. “We have a model now and it is ground breaking”.
Cost of Credit
Ireland, he said, is “significantly out of step when it comes to interest rates and I hope the pillar banks take note. This is a reflection of the fact that the cost of credit here is higher than it is across Europe.”
The loans do not require collateral and while the maximum loan request will be €150,000, the Department is expecting the average drawn down to be less than €75,000. The low-interest loans are available to all livestock, tillage and horticulture farmers and the Department expects the first loans to be issued early in the new year.