Farmers left bloodied after difficult year, says Creed
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has said farmers have been left "bloodied" as a result of difficult weather conditions, price volatility and Brexit.
Mr Creed said the beef, dairy and tillage sectors are under particular pressure and added that he will seek changes in the Budget to address price volatility in the market place.
The Cork TD is examining measures which would allow farmers to place a portion of their income in a special fund during a good year, which would not then be subject to income tax. The money could then be drawn down and taxed when yearly incomes drop.
Government sources have also indicated that a moratorium in employers' PRSI for specialist sectors is being examined ahead of next month's Budget.
Speaking on the 'Floating Voter' podcast at the Ploughing Championships yesterday, the Fine Gael politician said there is a "green jersey element" to the farming industry, particularly on the back of Brexit.
"We be bloodied but we are not unbowed after a difficult year," he said of the agricultural community.
Also speaking on Independent.ie's political podcast, Independent TD for Roscommon/Galway Michael Fitzmaurice said immediate measures must be introduced to protect small farms.
He also raised revelations in the Irish Independent this week that billionaire farmers have been receiving massive subsidies from the taxpayer.