Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

IFA rejects Coveney's farm cuts claims

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The IFA has strongly rejected suggestions from Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney that further cuts to farm spending could be introduced in this year's Budget.

In answer to questions on compensation for losses caused by bad weather this summer, Minister Coveney said Department expenditure was under "huge pressure" and further cuts of €87m in current spending and €27m in capital spending were being sought.

But IFA president John Bryan has warned that farm schemes cannot be cut further in future Budgets.

"Farmers are outraged that the Minister is already talking about more cuts in the December Budget.

"If he needs savings, he can find them elsewhere," said Mr Bryan.

"Farmers are having a very tough year, with the bad weather increasing costs and prices falling.

"The Minister's job is to support farmers, and he must rule out any threat to existing schemes, and open AEOS for all farmers leaving REPS 3.

"There is a contradiction when the Government is able to find €2bn for various projects, yet funding for farm schemes, which is a stimulus for the rural economy, continues to be cut."

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