“It’s time to deliver Fair prices, a Fair CAP and Fair Play for Irish Family Farmers” – Matt Carthy

“It’s time to deliver Fair prices, a Fair CAP and Fair Play for Irish Family Farmers”

Matt Carthy appointed main opposition spokesperson on Agriculture

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that he is proud and honoured to have been appointed to his party’s frontbench as the lead opposition spokesperson on Agriculture and the Marine.  He said that he will strive to bring constructive and radical proposals that would support family farmers and deliver ‘fair prices, a fair CAP and fair play’.

 

He said:

 

“I am proud and honoured to be appointed to the Sinn Féin frontbench by our party leader Marylou McDonald.  The role of being the lead opposition spokesperson on Agriculture and Marine is an important one.  I commend my predecessor Deputy Brian Stanley and I hope that I can emulate his commitment to Irish farming and our rural communities.

 

“My previous role as a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee will serve me well particularly as we approach the business end of a new Common Agriculture Policy which will be a defining point in determining whether there is a sustainable future for Irish family farming.  I will work with the government and support any initiatives aimed at supporting our farming families and rural communities.  I will strongly challenge those policies that don’t.

 

“The core of Sinn Féin’s farm policies can be summarised as the pursuit of ‘the three Fs’ – a fair price for produce, a fair CAP system that works that distributes funds to those who need and deserve them, and fair play for farmers and rural communities, including in their dealings with the Department of Agriculture and statutory agencies.

 

“The family farm is the bedrock of our rural communities and Sinn Féin will remain unwavering in our support for them.  I intend to produce constructive proposals that can tackle the strangle-hold of the processors and retailers so as to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their product.  I will encourage government to fight to protect the CAP budget and ensure a fairer distribution of funds away from the large corporates to deliver greater payments to the majority of family farms.  Sinn Féin will oppose trade deals such as Mercosur and we will work for a just transition to protect farmers”.

 

“I look forward to working with, and holding to account, the Minister and Department of Agriculture and Marine in the time ahead”.

ENDS

Carthy seeks support for Sinn Féin’s tourism and hospitality stimulus plan

Carthy seeks support for Sinn Féin’s tourism and hospitality stimulus plan

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, has called on representatives from all political parties to support a new proposal for an economic stimulus plan for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

This Sinn Féin proposal – amounting to a stimulus package of over €860 million – would revive two of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a particular boost to important employers in County Monaghan.

Under this scheme, launched by Sinn Féin on Tuesday, every adult in the State would receive a voucher worth €200, while every child would be entitled to a voucher worth €100, to be spent in businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Speaking this week Deputy Carthy said:

“The tourism and hospitality sectors have been two of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic and urgent government intervention is required to support workers and families and to save jobs and businesses.  We all fear for the future of several Monaghan restaurants, hotels and similar businesses and it is clear that there is a need for an urgent and substantial investment.

“The success of our local economy depends on an imaginative response.  This proposal could provide the lifeline that is required.

“Around 92% of workers in the accommodation and food sectors have received the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or have been on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, while the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation is estimating a hit to the sector in the region of €3.5 billion in 2020.

“With restrictions on travel to the State remaining in place, Sinn Féin believes a substantial economic stimulus is urgently needed to revive these sectors.

“Our plan will also give workers and families the welcome option of a break away or days out after what has been an extraordinarily difficult period.

“Similar stimulus plans have been introduced around the world. Italy has a similar plan to encourage people to holiday at home, Vienna is giving residents vouchers for restaurants in the city and the United States is distributing billions of dollars in stimulus cheques directly to residents.

“The plan would see each adult receive a voucher worth €200 to be used in domestic businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, while every child would be entitled to a voucher worth €100.

“This would be non-means tested and available to every resident in the State. That means it will assist those unable to afford a break, but also encourage those who can to spend their vouchers, plus more, in our local economies.

“This is an investment in jobs and businesses.  Without intervention now, thousands of jobs will be lost permanently, costing the State considerably more in the long-run.  I am hopeful that representatives across the political divides will support this proposal and ensure that jobs in our county are saved.”

 

A copy of Sinn Fein’s economic stimulus plan for the tourism and hospitality sectors can be found at the following link

– https://mcusercontent.com/ffc5ff2fa2294c89d2ff7598e/files/c93c925b-7aba-4b51-b581-de9aac28ff64/Tourism_and_Hospitality_Vocucher_Scheme.pdf

ENDS

Government programme on Agriculture and Rural Development is ‘pathetic and insulting’ – Matt Carthy TD

Government programme on Agriculture and Rural Development is ‘pathetic and insulting’ –

Matt Carthy TD

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has described the Programme for Government as a terrible deal for rural communities and family farmers.  He said that the section of the programme which deals with Regional Development and Agriculture is ‘pathetic and insulting’.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“This is a terrible deal for rural communities and our farming families.  What is required is a commitment to substantially invest in the regions and to address the wholescale inequalities in Irish farming.  Instead this document offers reviews and examinations with very little substance.

 

“The first line in the subsection on Balanced Regional Development actually reads: “regional development is critical to reduce pressure on the Greater Dublin area.”  This crystallises the emphasis of these three parties for our rural communities.

 

“On Agriculture the programme commits the government to ‘contribute more to the overall EU budget, if it is spent on measures that advance the European ideal’ but it does not commit to rejecting any budget that does not realise a CAP increase.

 

“It proffers supports to the various sectors while providing very few specifics and delivers nothing concrete that would benefit family farmers over and above corporate players.  In many areas it is actually pathetic in its lack of detail.

 

“Rural Ireland might be greener as a result of this deal, but that will be because there’ll be less people living there.

 

“Many farmers will be interested to hear of a new REPS scheme but, again, very little detail is provided.  Ironically the REPS scheme is to be funded with part of the carbon tax hikes that will disproportionally affect rural dwellers.

 

“Bizarrely, on the EU-Mercosur Trade Deal, the programme says the government will ‘carry out economic and sustainability assessment’ despite the fact that Fianna Fáil & the Greens previously argued that it was a bad deal in economic and sustainability terms – they were right then but clearly are laying the ground for a sell-out on this issue.

 

“There is a particularly pathetic section entitled ‘Young People and Rural Ireland’ that offers nothing new of substance except the establishment of a network of ‘teen sheds similar to men’s sheds’.  It is insulting and patronising in the extreme.

 

“Rural Ireland and our family farmers needed change.  They voted for change.  This programme does that provide that.  Sinn Féin will continue to champion for investment in our rural communities and our family farm network throughout the lifetime of this Dáil.”

ENDS

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in government will not deliver change – Carthy

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in government will not deliver change – Carthy

“Programme for Government offers nothing for Cavan Monaghan” says Sinn Féin TD

 

Responding to Monday’s announcement that the leaders of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party have agreed a Programme for Government, Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy said that such a collation will not deliver the change that people voted for in February.

 

He said that the Programme for Government offers nothing to Counties like Cavan and Monaghan and said that, if the deal goes through the respective party memberships, that he and Sinn Féin would provide effective and sustained opposition on behalf of ordinary families and workers.

Deputy Carthy said:

“Sinn February’s election I have been working as part of Sinn Féin’s negotiating team to try  to deliver a government that would implement the type of change that voters endorsed.  Unfortunately, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael excluded Sinn Féin from the government formation process in an attempt to deny change, to protect the status-quo and to continue with the same politics that have so badly failed our communities.

“This week they reached an agreement on a Programme for Government with the Green Party.

“But the reality is that a government led by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – no matter who they are propped up by – does not represent the change that people voted for and will not deliver for workers and families.

“Their record in government together over the past four years shows us exactly what they will do if this Programme for Government is endorsed by the parties involved.

“What we need is a break from the past, not a repeat of it.

“That means rebuilding the economy in a fair and sustainable way, delivering affordable housing, delivering universal healthcare, making sure workers can retire at the age of sixty-five, investing in our forgotten regions such as Cavan Monaghan and delivering the type of real change required to tackle the climate emergency.

 

“This will not be delivered by a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led government.

“But those who voted for change should not lose faith.  The future is still there to be won.  Sinn Féin will never give up because we believe that we are within touching distance of a better Ireland. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can delay change, but they cannot stop it.  In the short term, should the respective party memberships endorse this deal the Sinn Féin will provide an effective and sustained opposition on the part of those we represent.”

 

Deputy Carthy also said that the Programme for Government offered nothing for counties such as Cavan and Monaghan.  He said:

 

“The Programme for Government offers nothing to this constituency.  The first line in the subsection on Regional Development actually states “regional development is critical to reduce pressure on the Greater Dublin area.”  This crystallises the emphasis on these three parties for our rural communities.

 

“The only guaranteed outcome for families and workers in these counties is that they will be paying substantially more in Carbon taxes.  There is no reference to undergrounding the north-south interconnector; no reference to developing services at Monaghan County Council.  There is every likelihood that local roads funding will be curtailed and there is none of the ambition that’s required to revitalise our local towns and villages.

 

“Nothing within this document suggests a new departure from this same old, same old government.  They will though be held to account and local Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs are put on notice.  We in Sinn Féin will not allow bland rhetoric to substitute the investment in infrastructure and services that this region needs and deserves”.

ENDS

Pension Age should be 65 – Matt Carthy TD

Pension Age should be 65 – Matt Carthy TD

 

Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy, Matt Carthy, has described reports emanating from government that social welfare payments will have to be cut if the pension age is not raised as “cynical and petty”.

 

He said that the State pension should be available to those who wish to retire at 65 and that Sinn Féin is committed to that principle.

 

The Cavan Monaghan TD said:

 

“Reports, emanating from government, threaten that social welfare cuts will be necessary if the pension age is not raised. This is a cynical and petty narrative, and it is disingenuous.  It is nothing more than scaremongering.

 

“The recent moves by Fianna Fáil to renege on their commitment to stop changes to the pension age is disappointing although predicable.

 

“Reverting the pension age to 65 can be paid for through reform of the PRSI system and by increasing employers’ PRSI on incomes in excess of €100,000.

 

“Sinn Féin is the only party that is clear and unequivocal on this issue – everyone should have the right to retire on a State pension at 65 if they choose.  Workers deserve dignity in retirement.

 

“In February’s election people were unequivocal on this issue.  They will be unforgiven on any party in government that fails to deliver in this area.”

ENDS

Carthy calls for cap on interest rates charged by Moneylenders

Carthy calls for cap on interest rates charged by Moneylenders

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has welcomed new regulations on moneylenders announced this week by the Central Bank, but has warned that the only way to protect consumers from rip-off rates and financial exploitation is by capping interest rates.

 

Deputy Carthy echoed the call of his party’s Finance Spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, for the new Dáil to support his Bill which would place a cap of 36% on the rate of interest moneylenders can charge.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“Currently regulated moneylenders are able to charge rates as high as 187% on loans, charging extortionate interest for borrowers and families that are already likely to be under financial pressure.

 

“Given the economic fallout and job loss that we face today, the risk posed by usurious and extortionate moneylending as never been greater.

 

“While this week’s Central Bank announcement of new regulations on moneylenders is welcome, the ultimate protection for consumers and families is by capping the level of interest they can charge.

 

“One of the regulations which will take effect from the 1st September, is that moneylenders will be required to include warnings in advertisements for lending where high interest is charged.

 

“This effectively amounts to moneylenders telling borrowers they will be exploited before they then proceed to exploit them.

 

“While anything that alerts families and borrowers to the dangers of exploitative lending is welcome, the best way to protect consumers from it is to stop it. That is the job of the Dáil.

 

“In 2018, despite Fine Gael opposition, the Dáil supported Sinn Féin’s legislation to place a cap of 36% on the rate that moneylenders and loan sharks can charge.

 

“In February’s election, Sinn Féin committed to making this legislation law, offering protection to more than 300,000 people who borrow from moneylenders in the State.

 

“Sinn Féin are committed to moving this legislation forward and capping exploitative moneylending during this Dáil term.  This must coincide with reforming restrictive lending rules to allow credit unions to play a greater role in providing affordable credit to borrowers”.

ENDS

“Publication of High CAP Payments exposes obscene inequalities at the heart of Irish Agriculture” – Carthy

“Publication of High CAP Payments exposes obscene inequalities at the heart of Irish Agriculture” – Carthy

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that the publication of the recipients of the highest CAP payments in Ireland exposes the obscene inequalities at the heart of Irish Agriculture.  He said that it is scandalous and immoral that a small number of large corporate entities were drawing down hundreds of thousands in CAP payments while most family farmers are struggling to survive.

 

He said that the eye-watering figures reinforced the need for Sinn Féin’s proposals for an upper-limit on payments to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“One of the largest recipients of CAP payments in Ireland is a company called Godolphin based in Co Kildare.  It is the thoroughbred racing and breeding operation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.  The stud farm received a CAP payment of €216,768.

 

“Two farms associated with the billionaire Larry Goodman between them secured payments of almost €400,000.

 

“These are scandalous payments that expose the obscene inequalities at the heart of Irish agriculture.  There is simply no justification for massive corporate entities to be drawing down such level of payments at a time when most family farms, who receive a pittance in comparison, are struggling to survive.

 

“This scandal has to end.  There needs to be an upper-limit of payments set at a maximum of €60,000 so that funds can be re-diverted to those farmers who are the lifeblood of our rural economies.

 

“That Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments have stood over such gross inequalities for so long explains why many farmers have abandoned those parties.  It’s time for a radical reform of agriculture payments where resources are invested in our family farmers that have built the reputation that Irish agriculture enjoys all over the world”.

ENDS 

 

Consultation required on decision to ban pigeon shooting – Matt Carthy TD

Consultation required on decision to ban pigeon shooting – Matt Carthy TD

 

Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has criticised Minister Josepha Madigan for failing to consult with those affected before the decision to lift the Summer derogation on Wood Pigeon shooting was enacted.  The National Parks and Wildlife Services, which operates under the auspices of Minister Madigan’s department, announced in recent days that the derogation, due to come into effect on 31st May, would not be in place this year.  The move could have enormous implications for tillage farmers and food supplies.

 

Deputy Carthy said:

 

“That this decision was made without any consultation with those who would be affected is not good enough.  The Minister must reverse the move until a full consultation process has been completed with all stakeholders.

 

“The National Parks and Wildlife Services say that the decision was based on new scientific evidence.  They should publish that evidence and allow it to be scrutinised.

 

“Farmers and game clubs are vital stakeholders in wildlife preservation.  It is not acceptable that decisions that could have enormous implications for farming and for food supplies is made without any engagement with those stakeholders.  Minister Madigan must resolve this matter immediately”.

ENDS

Covid-19 Dáil Committee can play an important role in coming months – Matt Carthy TD

Covid-19 Dáil Committee can play an important role in coming months – Matt Carthy TD

 

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, this week commenced a new aspect of his work as he became one of 19 Dáil Deputies that have been appointed to the new Special Committee on Covid19.

 

The committee, which met for the first time on Tuesday, will be tasked with analysing all aspects of the state’s response to the Coronavirus and the strategy to emerge from restrictions and will have the wherewithal to make formal proposals for legislative and regulatory changes.  The committee is also empowered to invite Ministers, officials, sector representatives and experts to attend hearings.

 

Deputy Carthy said this week that the new committee can play an important role in ensuring that there is proper debate and dialogue about how we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.  He said that the committee could also be pivotal in ensuring accountability for all decisions made and stated that he looked forward to playing a constructive role in its deliberations.

 

He said:

 

“The first meeting of the Special Dáil Committee on Covid-19 met this week.  Sinn Féin had argued for some time for proper scrutiny of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and for Ministers to be accountable to the Dáil at this critical time.

 

“The Dáil has been able to sit more frequently over the past number of weeks – and that is welcome – but the establishment of a Special Dáil Committee on Covid-19 is an important part of the process of ensuring that there is proper debate and dialogue about how we emerge from this crisis; from a health perspective and how we deal with the economic crisis that has emerged.

 

“While the first meeting of the committee, held on Tuesday, dealt with logistics I am hopeful that from next week we will get down to the real business.  Sinn Féin have argued that it should focus on a number of key areas; (i) health, (ii) supports for households and employers, and (iii) rebooting the economy. The Committee can play an important role in the time ahead.

 

“I am honoured that the Sinn Féin leader appointed me as one of our party’s four representatives on the committee alongside Pearse Doherty, Louise O’Reilly and David Cullinane.  We want to ensure that this committee elicits the answers that workers, businesses and communities need in the time ahead and I look forward to being part of this important forum during this crisis period”.

ENDS

Carthy welcomes confirmation of School Bus refunds

Carthy welcomes confirmation of School Bus refunds

 

Sinn Féin Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, has welcomed confirmation that families will be repaid school bus fees in respect of the period of school closures resulting from the Coronavirus restrictions.  Deputy Carthy received the confirmation from the Minister for Education to a written parliamentary question this week.

 

He said:

 

“This is something that I and Sinn Féin have been pressing for over recent weeks and I welcome the confirmation from Minister McHugh that families will receive refunds for school bus fees in respect of the period of school closures.

 

“This was the right call and one that will provide some relief to hard pressed families.  The Minister in his response also confirmed that bus contractors will continue to be paid 50% of their charges while the schools remain closed”.

ENDS

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