Government aid for flood-affected farmers is 'too little, too late' - Liadh Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has commented that the announcement of a hardship recognition case fund and a fodder replacement scheme is too little too late, and questioned the ability of these funds to adequately meet the needs of farmers affected by the worst of the floods.
Liadh Ní Riada said:
“Farmers, families and businesses across the country are reeling after the recent storms and ongoing flooding. The ground in many parts of the country is saturated, and many farmers are in trouble.
“It is good that the Cabinet finally got around to making some money available, but it really is too little, too late. The damage done by these storms will have a long-lasting impact, and what farmers need is ongoing support to get them through the next few weeks and months.
“I note that in Britain a dedicated Farming Recovery Fund exists to provide financial help in times of severe flooding or other crises. I would like to see a similar fund established here so that farmers do not have to wait many weeks for Government to sit up and take notice of their plight.
"The flooding is exacerbating difficulties surrounding the calving of cows and damage to land. Farmers are environmentalists and they know themselves what needs to be done regarding planting woodlands and natural drainage.
“I have repeatedly called for the Government to apply for financial assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund, which could be used to tide farmers over in the medium- to long -term. The knock-on effects of this floodings will be felt on many farms through the Spring, and it's important farmers are not forgotten about when the attention shifts.
“Once again farmers and rural dwellers are left down by this Government.”