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Minister’s Farm Household Income Comments Outrageous

Jun 24, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

June 24th 2014

ICSA President Patrick Kent has expressed surprise and disappointment at Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney’s comments on farm household incomes.

The Minister’s comments that that family farm income does not equate to farm household income, and that on 51% of farms, either the holder or spouse had an off-farm job, were made in response to a recent Dáil question. The Minister appears to suggest that low farm income doesn’t matter if it can be subsidised by off-farm activities.

“The Minister’s comments are nothing short of outrageous,” said Mr. Kent. “Would he expect staff in his own department to be happy with a pay cut just because their partners had an income of their own? Would nurses or teachers or the Gardaí accept such a situation? I fail to see how spousal income comes into this equation.”

“I’d have to query the Minister’s motivation in the light of this,” continued Mr. Kent. “Is he truly committed to improving the plight of struggling beef and suckler farmers, or is he simply biding time until he leaves office and can pass the buck to someone else?”

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ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said it is unacceptable that some 18,600 farmers will have to wait until February 2024 to receive their ACRES payment. “ICSA, along with other farmer representatives, today (6 December) met with senior Department of Agriculture officials in Portlaoise for an update on payments from the various farm schemes. At this meeting we were informed that no participant of the Cooperation Project (CP) stream of ACRES tranche one will be paid until February at the earliest. This news will come as a devasting blow to all those farmers who have been already waiting far too long for their payments,” he said.

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