Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, has accused the government of “abandoning” the agricultural sector in Budget 2022.
Reacting to Tuesday’s announcement, he said the government has “wiped it off the face of the earth”.
“It does not seem to exist in Budget 2022,” he told the Dáil earlier this week.
He made the following revelations to the house:
- The carbon tax increase on agricultural diesel will bring in approximately €9.1 million;
- The change in VAT will make a difference of approximately €8.2 million. Total: €17 million.
“It was said that the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine’s budget is to be increased by €30 million but, in the context of a total budget of €1.85 billion, that is inconsequential. It is worrying to think.”
He accused the government of leaving agriculture behind “when all the talk in here is about climate”.
“It must be remembered that the only people who can help in sequestration and who are willing to put their shoulder to the wheel are those in the agriculture sector. They have been left behind today.”
Again, the deputy posed the question: “Why have we abandoned agriculture?”
“When this country had to borrow a lot of money, when we were in trouble, when there was no cement on the boots, when people were taking the boat, the farming sector stood up to the mark.”
“These are the same people who we are going to ask to put a few trees here and there and to do X, Y and Z to help Ireland Inc.”
“Today, we basically put them that they had disappeared. They do not even exist in the document.”
“I read through the document and even read this new fancy handbook that has come out and could not see agriculture mentioned at all. Everything else, but agriculture was not.”
“Deputy Donohoe talked about the world being on fire. He must have meant a different world from mine.”
“After this budget and with soaring energy prices, I am fearful of this winter is the poor devils who live in the rural areas of this country not burning but perishing to death in their houses,” he concluded.