IFA SAC Project Team Chairman Padraic Divilly has described the package announced for turfcutters by Environment Minister Phil Hogan as ‘not going far enough’ and he stated that it will not ease the anger among turfcutters over the restrictions which are being imposed on them.
Mr Divilly commented, “Farmers must be allowed to cut turf for domestic purposes. Where restrictions are imposed, the payments should be to €2,000 per annum, and for the lifetime of the bog, not 15 years as announced by the Minister. A lump sum payment would be more appropriate for some farmers as it would allow them to make capital investment in alternative fuel heating systems.
“For people who want to continue to cut turf, relocation to other bogs must be an option, and it is disappointing that the Government has not provided such an option to date,” he concluded