Thursday, 27 October 2016
Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions
I am extremely concerned, as are all rural Deputies. Every day we meet farmers and those with small businesses who are involved in the agricultural sector. They are bewildered as to what is happening. On top of the poor harvest and the price of milk for over the past two years, there are issues with beef and there is devastation in the mushroom industry. The Minister used phrases like "managing the volatility". That is not much good if people do not have money to pay their bills. I have worked in the industry, and I know there are people in it who have always paid their bills and have a proud record of doing so. We need more than platitudes and fancy words.
I mean no disrespect to the Minister, but we need a Minister for Brexit because as he knows 75% of the jobs outside of Dublin are associated with agriculture. The Minister referred to the fact that 43% of exports go to the UK. What are we going to do? The UK is looking for a hard Border. There are major issues. We need more action. I am not asking the Minister to try to manage the volatility of the situation. People cannot manage volatility if they do not have money in their pockets but have bills to pay, a family to rear and everything else to do. We need the Minister to do a lot more than that.