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Farm cuts an attack on Rural Ireland – Ferris

23 October, 2008 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has described the €210 million cut in the Budget allocation for agriculture, fisheries and food as an attack on rural Ireland. The Kerry North TD was speaking as opposition to the cuts mounted around the country. Deputy Ferris has raised the cuts several times in the Dáil this week and was successful in forcing a debate on the closure of the Early Retirement Scheme and the Installation grant for young farmers last night.

Deputy Ferris said, "The starkest point that has been made in relation to these cuts is that they are an attack on our most successful and largest employing indigenous sector of the economy. It is a sector that was almost sacrificed at the WTO and is now being undermined by the wholesale withdrawal of investment in research, disadvantaged areas and land transfer that will be directly responsible for forcing more people out of farming, and that will cost more jobs

"As I said yesterday the cuts represent a vote of no confidence in the rural economy. Instead of optimising our advantages in the food sector and the potential for expanding the production of energy crops, this Government is opting for short term savings that will result in the loss of jobs and the further undermining of farm households and rural communities in general." ENDS

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