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Reduction in AEOS numbers a crushing blow to low income farmers – Colreavy

6 April, 2011 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Colreavy has described the Fine Gael Government’s decision to reduce the number of eligible farmers and the maximum payment for the Agricultural Environmental Options Scheme (AEOS) as ‘a crushing blow to low income farmers, particularly those in marginal areas’.

Speaking from Leinster House Deputy Colreavy said:

“This evening’s announcement will come as a crushing blow to farmers, particularly those farmers on low incomes. The decision to reduce the maximum payment to €4,000 will effectively half the income of thousands of farmers. Many others will be turned down for the scheme - the previous Government committed to 10,000 applicants; the new scheme is limited to 8,000.

“The reduction in numbers qualifying and the dramatic reduction in maximum payments will herald a new era of farming poverty in marginal areas.

“It does not make any kind of economic sense to take this money out of one of the few functioning areas of local economies. It is now clear how the new Government intend to fund the bank bailout. It is not acceptable.

“I am calling on Fine Gael and Labour to honour the commitment made by the previous government, to stand up for farmers and to retain the payments at the levels previously paid”

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