Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture, Jackie Cahill TD has said that the failure of the Government to introduce a low-cost cash flow loan scheme and an income-volatility scheme in taxation will leave many Irish farmers disappointed.

Deputy Cahill added, “Many farmers, after yesterday’s Budget announcement, are deeply frustrated. Of course, the €40 suckler cow payment and ANC changes are welcome, but there are many farmers who will not benefit from these changes.

“A low-cost cash flow loan scheme for farmers is desperately needed. Farmers’ cash flow is already under severe pressure and low-cost credit is critical to helping them survive. The failure in Budget 2019 to make any progress on this will hurt family farmers.

“Additionally, many farm organisations requested the Government to establish a Farm Management Deposit type scheme that would allow farmers put away resources in a government-protected and regulated account in good times. They could then withdraw these resources in leaner times to support their business and pay their taxes. This would not have been overly expensive but would have given some reassurance to farmers.

“25% of the land in this country is not under the Areas of Natural Constraint. The additional €23 million for the scheme is welcome, but for up to a quarter of Irish farmers, it won’t do anything for them.

“Opportunities were missed yesterday to give family farmers a fighting chance,” concluded Cahill.