Delivery of €500M aid package for farmers from EU must be delivered swiftly – Mac Lochlainn
Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Sinn Féin Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture said “with the ending of milk quotas in March 2015 after 31 years in place, farmers were promised a market of new opportunities with big income opportunities to follow”.
The European Council yesterday voted in Brussels to implement a €500M aid package for farmers in the livestock industry. This will particularly support farmers affected by low milk prices. The Senator from Donegal said that there must be a “swift delivery of this scheme and others for farmers throughout the state”.
Speaking following the vote, Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“What in fact happened was the collapse of exports to Russia due to the import ban. This led to huge oversupply of milk and dairy products throughout the EU and left farmers producing at a price well below the cost of production.
“I welcome Minister Creed’s commitment to begin implementation of the scheme at national level. Minister Creed has also said advance payments are planned for October and I too welcome this measure which will ease cashflow problems for farmers.
“My worry is that we have seen problems with the delivery of the BPS, ANC and Tams scheme already this Autumn. The IFA have called for prompt implementation of this scheme with urgent availability of application forms before the deadline of 20th September. They have further called for a low cost, short term loan scheme to be set to alleviate the cash flow problems farmers are facing.
“I fully agree with the IFA’s calls and will be engaging with the Department of Agriculture to ensure the swift delivery of this scheme and others for farmers throughout the state.”