New low cost loan scheme will help Cork farmers deal with Brexit challenge

Tim Lombard

Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said that a newly launched low cost loan scheme will be extremely beneficial for farmers in Cork, particularly to help them mitigate against the impact of Brexit. The ‘Agri Cashflow Support Loan Scheme’, which was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), was launched by Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

“My Fine Gael colleague, Minister Michael Creed, has launched the Government’s new low cost agriculture loan scheme. This is going to be really beneficial to farmers here in Cork who are looking for income stability in a period of price volatility due to Brexit. Cork farmers will be able to avail of low-cost interest rate loans of 2.95%, which represents excellent value compared to market rates.

“A major priority for Fine Gael in Government is to assist farmers in mitigating against the impact of Brexit. I know from talking to local farmers that some of them are experiencing cashflow difficulties due to recent changes in the sterling exchange rate, as well as lower commodity prices in certain sectors.

“Minister Creed has a ‘three pillar strategy’ in response to income volatility and pressures caused by the uncertainty around Brexit, including this low cost loan scheme, tax measures and farm payments.

“Cork farmers will be pleased to hear that as well as being good value, these loans will be flexible, with the possibility of optional interest only repayments at the start of the loan. Six year loan terms will be available.

“This loan scheme will allow farmers here in Cork to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, such as merchant credit or overdrafts, contributing to the ongoing financial sustainability of their farming enterprise.

“AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland. This is supported by €25 million being provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including €11 million in EU exceptional adjustment aid.”

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