“Budget failed farmers & rural communities” – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has told the Dáil that the government’s budget failed to give people the certainty they deserved.
Deputy Carthy hit out at the failure of the budget to recognise, in particular, the challenges facing Irish family farmers.
Speaking during the budget debate in the Dáil, Carthy said:
“This budget has not given people the certainty they needed. People on middle and low incomes who were worried about energy costs at the start of the week will are still going to be worried at the end of this week. There is great concern across the board that we will see increases in rent in the coming months.
“It is incredible that, at a time there has been so much talk about the squeezed middle, 1.8 million workers will not get a single cent from the Government’s main tax proposal.
“In the midst of a health crisis, there is not a single additional acute bed delivered and the situation in housing is just as appalling. This budget was about political choices and many of the choices the Government made were the wrong ones.
“Now, more than ever, we need a change in direction. We need a fresh start, but the Government has failed to provide.
“Budget 2023 offers little for Ireland’s family farmers. We heard all the rhetoric last week at the National Ploughing Championships but the Government has completely failed farming families in budget 2023.
“Behind all the repackaged announcements we have heard about from the Minister, the fact is that just €11 million of additional resources have been allocated to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, beyond what was pre-committed in non-core Brexit-related funding.
“Sinn Féin had outlined in our alternative budget a suckler farm payment of up to €300 per cow and calf pair. We had provided for an increased sheep improvement scheme of €20 per ewe. We had allocated an additional €25 million for farms in areas of natural constraint and €15 million of additional funding for organics. We had also provided for all of the non-core expenditure included in the Government’s figures.
“However, we had also provided for young farmers, including the so-called forgotten farmers, and had provided for key environmental measures through Exchequer funding that would allow farmers to deliver on climate action targets.
“The Government’s budget, on the contrary, will not provide sufficiently in any of those areas. It will mean little for our farming families. At a time when farmers face multiple challenges from Brexit, rising input costs and climate obligations, this is clearly a budget from a Government that fails to recognise the scale of these challenges”.