Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Agriculture Schemes

11:50 pm

Photo of Jackie CahillJackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State for his reply. He said there is never a scheme without conditions attached. In 2020 we had a far more straightforward scheme. I accept that EU money was not put into the 2020 scheme, but it was a far more straightforward scheme and the money was used up. Before we finish this 2019 scheme a third of the money that was allocated to hard-pressed beef finishers will not have ended up in farmers' pockets. That is a serious indictment of a scheme that was introduced to provide for hard-pressed beef farmers. I support Deputy Carthy's call to the Minister of State to return to the Commission and ensure we are given the maximum flexibility possible for these affected farmers. Their income has not improved in the interim. They are still under severe financial pressure. We need to do the utmost to ensure the future financial viability of these farmers is not put under further threat. They cannot afford to pay back this money in any significant amounts. They need consideration to be shown by the Commission. A precedent was set on the superlevy bill where farmers faced with a bill were given ample time to repay it.


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