Budget Decision Knocks Suckler Scheme

IRELAND - Irish Farming Association President Padraig Walshe said the Government’s Budget decision would have a very negative impact on the incomes of 60,000 farmers.
calendar icon 16 October 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

He said the suckler welfare scheme will have a funding shortfall of 26% and the 14% cut in Disadvantaged Areas payments will hit low-income farmers with limited resources.

Mr Walshe said IFA had calculated that the shortfall and cutbacks amounted to over €400 million from farm schemes for 2009. - Farm Waste Management Scheme €325m - Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme €22m - Installation Aid €4m - Early Retirement Scheme €4m - Disadvantaged Areas €34m - Farm Investment Scheme €15m - Fallen Animals Scheme €14m

Padraig Walshe said the decision by Minister Smith to cut the €80 on the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme from 2009 onwards is an extremely negative move for low-income suckler farmers. He said “based on the Department’s application figures, the Minister has effectively cut the €80 payment in half from next year.” In addition, he said the funding shortfall will delay payment by up to 12 months.

Mr Walshe said the decision to cut Disadvantaged Area payments would see some farmers facing an income cut of €1,000 and was an attack on the most vulnerable sector, mainly located in hill areas.

The IFA President said the suspension of Installation Aid and the Early Retirement Scheme would undermine confidence and sent a negative signal to the industry.

Padraig Walshe said “the shortfall for the Farm Waste Management Scheme from the end of December will threaten the future viability of 10,000 farmers whose investment work has been delayed due to factors outside their control.”

“This decision, the continued exclusion of 5,000 farmers who applied for the Farm Improvement Scheme in 2007, and the continued suspension of that scheme for new applicants will prevent the modernisation and efficiency of agriculture.”

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