'Low-cost loans are not a means to borrow your way out of trouble'
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has re-iterated that the introduction of low-cost loans for farmers are not a means for farmers to borrow their way out of trouble
Answering questions from the floor at the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) AGM, the Minister was challenged by a number of farmers from the floor on the low-cost loan scheme.
Gerald Quain, Chairman of the ICMSA Dairy Committee, said that Rabobank had reduced some borrowing rates to 2.86% in response to the Government's low-cost loan scheme.
Quain also criticised the Government's low-cost loan scheme and said that farmers could not carry the can down the road forever.
"It's not a way to borrow your way out of trouble," the Minister said in defence of the loan fund.
The Minister said the €150m loan fund was the Government's response to requests from industry. "We were asked to address affordable finance."
He said he welcomed a move by other banks to reduce their lending rates it is a step in the right direction.
John Comer, ICMSA President, said that low-cost loan demands from the sector were not called for to help alleviate during the current dairy crisis, and that the voluntary reduction scheme along with intervention would help any future possible dairy crises.