Wednesday, 10 July 2019
EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement: Motion [Private Members]
One third of Irish farmers are deemed to be able to make enough money to make a living on their farm, while another third can only do that by working off their farm. Teagasc estimates that one third of farmers simply do not make enough money whatsoever. The number of farmers in the State is falling, average wages are on the floor and poverty is rampant among farmers. The Government has allowed for multiples and factories to have massive buyer power and they are squeezing the last cents out of farmers to make super-normal profits. On top of this, Fine Gael seeks to enforce the Mercosur deal, which will put Irish farmers at an unfair competitive disadvantage. They will have to deal with significant regulatory costs while their competitors will have little or none. It could not happen at a worse time. We are teetering at the edge of Brexit and the deal will do further damage to beef producers in Ireland.
Fine Gael has long stopped bothering about rural Ireland. Its centre of gravity is currently in south Dublin. Anybody who has any confusion about the matter should consider the lopsided state of the country. Capital plans are overheating, the commuter belt is sprawling and many parts of rural Ireland are being emptied of their younger population.