The new government has been called on to provide for a financial support package for the suckler beef sector.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, said that the decision to exclude suckler beef farmers from the €50 million Beef Exceptional Aid package has meant that this cohort of farmers have received no supports in recognition of the challenges they faced as a result of Covid-19.
‘Of little comfort’
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said that the Minister’s stated intention that the €50million beef package would essentially ‘trickle down’ to suckler beef farmers in the autumn and “will be of little comfort to farmers who are struggling right now”.
“The Minister’s response to my question on the rationale for excluding suckler farmers from the emergency beef package is premised on the assumption that existing government schemes, committed pre-Covid, would suffice for the suckler sector. This is at odds with the realities that suckler farmers are facing.”
“The new government has an opportunity to correct this imbalance. He said they need to do so by providing a financial support for our suckler sector in recognition of the “huge challenges” that they are facing.
Light on measures for supporting beef farmers
“Unfortunately, the Programme for Government itself gave little in the way of concrete proposals for supporting our geef industry. It was light on detail in general and, in particular, on measures for supporting beef farmers.
“The government can and should go some way to addressing these concerns by immediately committing to providing a package for suckler farmers.” he concluded.