“This year’s Budget 2022 speech leaves young farmers with the desire to go indoors and take up gaming.”
Those were the words of Macra na Feirme national president, John Keane, as he reacted to yesterday’s Budget 2022 announcement.
He said the government has not shown any commitment to young farmers to address generational renewal or meet the dual challenges of food production and climate change.
Budget 2022 speech
Speaking after the announcement, Keane said:
“This budget does not support young farmers. We do not see progress on the major challenges facing young people in rural Ireland. What we see are words, not deeds.”
“The minister has announced tax credits for the digital gaming industry worth up to €25m but cannot make commitments to young farmers.”
Gaming not farming
“Minister Donohue has effectively told the next generation considering farming careers to take up computer gaming instead of farming.”
The minister stated that “we owe it to our children to be careful in how we manage public finances”.
In response, Keane said Macra na Feirme would also argue that “we owe it to the farming community to provide for the sector so that there is a sector for our children to work in, enjoy and experience”.
“Farming families have a ‘central role to play” in protecting the environment according to Minister Donohue but expect to have only more of the same.”
Keane highlighted the government has said they are committed to generational renewal but have “shown no desire to move beyond the status quo”.
“The digital gaming sector is to get a bump from tax relief of 32% up to €25m spend. As Minister Donohue says, this sector has ‘so much potential’.”
“But the minister needs to remember that everyone needs a farmer, the backbone of a wider agri-food industry, at least three times a day for food production,” concluded Keane.