Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Shane Ellis says the additional farm payments secured by his party’s negotiators in Budget 2019 are the first step in greater supports for farm families.

Ellis was speaking following the announcement of a €20m enhanced fund for farmers in Budget 2019.

“Farmers in the North West have been through a very difficult period with price volatility, a fodder crisis and the impending impact of Brexit weighing heavily on them.  Fianna Fáil has been front and centre calling for improved supports for farmers, with my party bringing forward a Dáil motion aimed at prioritising the suckler sector earlier this year”, explained Ellis.

“Fianna Fáil extracted an 11th hour concession from the Minister to introduce a new suckler cow support.  This is the first step in the process and the campaign to work towards a €200 payment will continue.  My party will continue to press for this within the current and upcoming CAP programme.

“It is imperative that no restrictions are put on this payment – the €40 must go directly to farmers.  The Department must roll out weighing infrastructure to cater for farmers who don’t have scales; any weighing costs should not be the responsibility of the farmer.  The Department should also ensure that appropriate animal disease prevention supports and guidance are in place.

“The announcements in this budget must be followed up with action and I am confident that Fianna Fáil will continue to push hard for better supports for farmers in the weeks and months ahead”.