CORK South West TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has again raised the serious need for the Government to stop sitting on its hands and provide a tillage fund to support farmers up and down the south and west coasts of Ireland who are nearly at the point of no return as a result of bad harvests and adverse weather.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony raised her concerns about the delay in establishing a tillage relief fund directly with the Taoiseach during a Promised Legislation debate on the floor of the Dáil on Tuesday, 21st February.
“Last month, Fianna Fáil secured the majority support of Dáil Éireann to establish a Tillage Relief Fund despite the objections of Fine Gael TDs, including local deputy, Jim Daly.
“Recently, during the National Tillage Forum, Minister Creed committed to the establishment of the fund. Yet no details have emerged, and farmers are sick and tired of the waiting on Fine Gael to do what is needed to protect families farms.
“The best the Taoiseach could commit to was saying that ‘Minister Creed will follow through on this commitment to a tillage fund.’
“Unfortunately, if Minister Creed continues at the same pace of work, hundreds of farmers will have gone out of business, and entire families will be dependent on the state for support.
“Where is the logic in allowing such a situation to develop? Fianna Fáil also pressed the need for the Department of Agriculture to make payments under the GLAS scheme as quickly as possible. Thousands of farmers have been waiting many months for their payment. They need it to keep afloat especially tillage farmers who have lost large portions of their other income.
“Again, the hands off approach of Fine Gael to the needs of Cork farmers was laid bare in the woefully shallow response of the Taoiseach who said that again the Department was working hard to make the payments.
“Does the Taoiseach not realise that he, as Head of Government, can request that the process is sped up?
“The Government need to get their act together, and start making payments to farmers on time. They cannot continue to blame IT issues for everything,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.