Fianna Fáil Deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy, has welcomed the announcement of the Crop Loss Scheme to assist tillage farmers who suffered severe losses in 2016.
Deputy Troy said the decision to increase the maximum payment to €10,500 is a positive development, but that farmers should never have had to wait more than a year for it.
“It’s quite clear that the Minister [Michael Creed] and his colleagues in Government were resistant to a crisis aid fund, even though farmers’ livelihoods were on the line,” Deputy Troy said. “Fianna Fáil campaigned strongly to support tillage farmers who have had their crops destroyed. We kept the issue on the agenda in the Dáil week in and week out over the last year.
“In January, we successfully passed a motion in the Dáil calling for the establishment of an emergency tillage crisis fund, with Fine Gael and independent members of Government voting against the proposal. This belated U-turn by the Government is a positive development, but it shows once more that they are completely out of touch with farmers and need to be more responsive to their needs.”
Deputy Troy is encouraging farmers to sign up to draw down payments as soon as possible.