Dairy farmers need support through temporary crisis
Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has called on financial flexibilities to be applied to dairy farmers in order to see them through the crisis they are currently experiencing.
Mr McMullan said,
“The British Government need to devolve more fiscal powers to the Assembly to enable them to support indigenous industries like farming in a time of crisis.
“In France for example farmers are allowed to defer tax payment in times of crisis to a point when they afford to pay without jeopardising their livelihoods.
“Dairy farmers are facing a major crisis with the low price of milk putting many farmers on the brink of selling up and moving out of the industry and unless we act now farms that have been in families for generations will be lost.
“The deferring of tax returns or some sort of tax relief would allow dairy farmers some breathing space to get through what many are saying is a short term crisis as the long term outlook is quite promising.
“Banks also need to be flexible in dealing with dairy farmers by extending overdrafts and being sympathetic with loan repayments until better times return.
“I would appeal to any dairy farmer who is experiencing severe financial difficulties to seek advice from the Department of Agriculture and local bank in order to work through these tough times.”