Fitzmaurice accuses Coveney of ignoring small farmers

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has strongly criticised Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney over the recent changes that have been made to GLAS agri-environmental scheme.

  The local deputy said small farmers were being “left out in the cold”.

  He said: “It is another example of the total disconnect that exists between Minister Coveney and small family farms. The news that hedgerows are to be taken out of the environmental scheme is simply astonishing. 

  “Farmers were allowed ten hectares of permanent pasture but now the proposal is that they will be allowed five hectares of permanent pasture and five hectares in meadow.

  “Does Minister Coveney realise the ratio of land needed for permanent pasture on marginal land? As far as I can make out, the Minister is only thinking about the Golden Vale here.

  “The agreement made on the weight of carcasses that was supposed to be in place until January 2016 has been broken.

  “Once again the factories have given the two fingers to farmers and the Government. When is Minister Coveney going to admit what is actually going on in the beef sector?

  “The Minister was made aware that this situation was going to arise a week ago and he did nothing about it.”