Offaly TD says farming families are facing income poverty
Independent TD Carol Nolan has described the latest statistics on farm income levels as deeply alarming.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after the latest analysis provided by the Teagasc National Farm Survey showed that the average farm income in 2018 dropped 20% to €23,483.
“According to Teagasc, there are now at least 30,000 farming families who are highly exposed to serious levels of income deprivation."
"This is very concerning, particularly in light of the fact that we have yet to see how the Brexit scenario is finally going to play out and the extent of the adverse impact it is going to have," Deputy Nolan said.
"What is also deeply frustrating to many farmers who are struggling with low or volatile income levels, is the decision by the Department of Housing and the Department of Agriculture to choose this as the time to review the regulations around the nitrates derogation."
"Many farm families are just dismayed that the department is engaging in this process especially when it had given prior commitments to keep the derogation in place until 2021."
"This can only mean greater levels of unnecessary uncertainty for farming families," Carol added.
"I am therefore calling on the Minister to immediately engage with farming organisations and families in order to identify and address the causal factors that are giving rise to such sustained low-income levels."
"Whatever about the international context; there is certainly more than can be achieved at the national level to alleviate these difficulties for farm families,” concluded Deputy Nolan.