Farmers to vent anger at Kenny's local office
FARMERS are to target Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency office in Castlebar today, to voice their anger over Budget cuts to farm spending.
The move is part of an intensive lobby of government ministers and TDs that aims to reverse some of the €90m in farm spending cuts announced in the recent Budget. Similar protests were held in a number of locations across the country over the weekend.
IFA president John Bryan, pictured right, said the protesters in Castlebar would make their anger known to the Taoiseach.
He said cuts to schemes would slash the incomes of thousands of farm families, adding: "The cuts by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to farm schemes have delivered a hammer blow to all farmers."
On Farm Assist, he said the decision to change the qualifying criteria for the farmer welfare scheme would see a married farmer with two children lose €2,500 a year.
However, Mr Coveney defended the cuts to the Farm Assist scheme, despite the equivalent payment to fishermen remaining unchanged.
"Farm Assist wasn't the only one targeted. There were no easy options left," Mr Coveney told farmers at the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association AGM in Dublin last week.