The country’s sheep farmers will not be fooled by the Minister for Agriculture’s timely announcement regarding funding for the sector, local TD Denis Naughten has stated.
“The Minister’s announcement that he will commit funding from the unused CAP funds to supporting the sheep sector has an all too familiar ring to it,” said Deputy Naughten.
“Sheep farmers have been here before and have listened to the promises from the Minister that have failed to materialise. Almost the same announcement was made in May 2007, yet no funding appeared. It will not be lost on farmers that this funding never came to fruition.
“Now we have the Minister making a commitment that ‘substantial’ funding will be made available to farmers. If the Minister is serious why not simply go ahead and announce the funding, rather than offering a hollow commitment that he will announce it at some future date?”
The Fine Gael TD particularly criticised the Minister for failing to put a figure on exactly what will be made available from the €25m fund that he has to make available to sheep farmers.
“The sheep sector is in decline and the Minister must follow the lead that has already been set by France - where €21 per ewe has been made available - and immediately announce a support package,” concluded Deputy Naughten.