Offaly TD calls on government to safeguard beef farmers
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has called on the government to take immediate action to safeguard the livelihoods of farmers’ in the beef sector.
Deputy Cowen was speaking ahead of a Fianna Fáil private member’s motion which will take place this evening.
Deputy Cowen said: “For too long this Government has sat on its hands while the beef sector and suckler farmers suffer. With prices on the floor and potential no deal chaos on the horizon, the government must take swift action to safeguard the sector."
“Successive Fine Gael led Governments have reneged on commitments under the Beef Forum, including the introduction of a market index for price transparency. A hard Brexit and any potential Mercosur deal would be disastrous for the beef sector and would see many livelihoods go to the wall.
“Farmers all across Offaly were feeling the brunt of Fine Gael inaction long before Brexit was ever a thought. Now, however, they are being warned to brace for the worst when they are already at rock bottom."
“The Fianna Fáil motion puts forward 14 key measures we believe the government should take to alleviate some of the challenges the beef sector is facing. These include seeking market disturbance aid from the EU as pertained under CAP; opening the Brexit Loan Scheme for farmers; increasing live exports of calves by enhancing lairage capacity; ensuring that the next CAP is fully funded to provide a €200 suckler cow payment as well as the introduction of a beef market index," Barry explained.
“These are small steps the government could take to show that they are concerned with the situation and that they have a desire to fix it. So far we have seen neither and it demonstrates yet again the Government ambivalence toward the farming sector and rural Ireland in general,” concluded Deputy Cowen.