Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chair of the Fine Gael Internal Agriculture Committee, Martin Heydon, has said that he expects Budget 2016 to confirm the Government’s continued support of farmers.
“In the past three Budgets this Government has made great progress in providing supports for farmers, particularly by supporting young farmers and the transfer of land. Having discussed the outstanding issues that farmers are having with the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney and others, I am confident that Budget 2016 will again confirm the Government’s support of farmers and the agri-food sector.
“Some very successful measures have been introduced by this Government in the last three years and I having been pushing to ensure that Budget 2016 extends of all of these measures.
“Farmers are self-employed people running small businesses and often providing local employment. It is essential that we recognise the risks and sacrifices that farmers, as business people, take. As part of the Fine Gael Standing Up for Small Business campaign, we consulted with small businesses and farmers, before putting their proposals to the Minister for Finance. These proposals include changes to the tax system for the self-employed. I am hopeful that Minister Noonan will take on board some of our suggestions.
“The decisions taken by this Government have brought us to an important time in our recovery. We are the fastest growing economy in Europe and we are creating over 1,300 new jobs a week, but we cannot afford to make any mistakes.
“I expect next week’s Budget to be affordable, responsible and consistent with the plan to eliminate Government borrowing by 2018.
“Under this Fine Gael led government, the agricultural and agri-food sectors are booming. There has been a 40% increase in food and beverage exports since 2009 and the sector is supporting 170,000 jobs, many of which are in rural areas.
“This Government recognises the extremely important role played by farmers in supporting the economy. I expect Budget 2016 will recognise that.”