Fine Gael and Labour have opted to de-prioritise agriculture for the next five years, according to Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Moynihan.
Reacting to the Infrastructure & Capital Investment Framework published today, Deputy Moynihan has expressed his disappointment at the Government’s decision to cut spending on Agriculture.
“The agriculture sector is a critical growth area in the Irish economy” said Deputy Moynihan. “A growing world population, expanding markets in Asia and rising food prices mean that the global market is wide open for Irish exports.
“Fianna Fáil in Government launched the Harvest 2020 strategy, which set out ambitious targets for the growth of the agricultural sector as a driver for job creation. But there is no doubt that these targets will suffer as a result of this reduction in capital spending.
“Fine Gael and Labour clearly stated in the Programme for Government that they support the recommendations of the Harvest 2020 report. However this lip service has not translated into real action. They have now opted average spending by €14 million a year in their plan, when compared to the National Recovery Plan published by the previous Government a year ago.
“In this extremely difficult economic situation Fianna Fáil had proposed to spend capital expenditure at a level of 3.5% of GNP for 2012.The Government’s plan today has cut this figure to 3% of GNP, one of the lowest in the EU. Areas like agriculture which have real job potential will suffer as a result of these reductions,” said Deputy Moynihan.