Enhanced Suckler and ANC funding in Budget 2019 signals importance of sector to rural Ireland

Farming reporter

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Farming reporter

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Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy said that his party has secured the first in a series of improved payments for the suckler sector with an initial €20m enhanced fund for farmers in Budget 2019.

“As a TD in a rural constituency like Roscommon/Galway I am acutely aware of the many challenges faced by suckler farmers and indeed the farming sector in general. This sends out a clear message that the State values suckler farming and the massive economic benefits it brings to rural Ireland.
Earlier this year Fianna Fáil brought forward a motion in the Dáil calling for priority for the suckler sector.  The passing of this motion shone a spotlight on the difficulties this sector is facing and acted as a key catalyst for action. Indeed my party colleague FF spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Charlie McConalogue has been to the fore on this issue and I have organised for him to address a public meeting in Elphin Mart on Thursday, October 25th at 8pm in relation to tackling the fodder and farm income crisis and I would encourage farmers from throughout the region to attend this important meeting.

“Time and time again Minister Creed resisted any increase in suckler funding and lambasted my colleagues and I when we raised this issue. Under sustained pressure from Fianna Fáil, the Minister has been forced into a u-turn and an initial €20m enhanced fund has been provided for in Budget 2019,” said Deputy Murphy.

Deputy Murphy said however that is was hugely disappointing that the government has once more refused to introduce a low-cost cash flow loan scheme for farmers while he noted that there had been a  lack of movement on a hardship fund to help bridge massive cash flow difficulties.

Deputy Murphy noted that farmers were still waiting for the €25m Brexit loan scheme, announced in last year's budget, to open.  The scheme will only be available from the start of 2019 which is just three months out from a possible knife edge scenario.