Budget 2023 has failed to correct the failings of previous Governments in addressing the issue of the ‘forgotten farmers’, according to Macra President, John Keane.
Mr. Keane described said the ‘forgotten farmers’ are a combination of those who lost out following the removal of young farmer supports such as Installation Aid due to cuts in public expenditure by the Government following the last recession.
“It is now more than 14 years since some of these farmers started out in their farming careers, and it is simply not good enough that the mistakes around the removal of supports have not been rectified,” he said.
“Macra has continually lobbied on behalf of these forgotten farmers to seek the support which they fairly deserve”.
The Macra President added that the Programme for Government states in ‘black and white’ commitments to resolve the issue of support for forgotten farmers under CAP.
“When the support was not detailed under the newly-submitted CAP Strategic Plan the Department of Agriculture citied reasons around qualifying criteria and meeting objectives as barriers but assured Macra that this cohort of farmers were not forgotten,” he said.
“These forgotten farmers can wait no longer with rising input and energy costs and many investments having being put on hold with the commitments by the Minister, the time to deliver meaningful supports for these farmers is now,” concluded Mr. Keane.