October 15, 2020
“Budget further endangers Rural Ireland” – Chris MacManus MEP

“Budget further endangers Rural Ireland” – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, a member of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee has said budget 2021 does not deliver for Ireland’s family farmers and rural communities.

“The government strategy on rural communities, seems to be to kick us when we’re down. These new carbon taxes and VRT changes will come as a huge blow to people who have no option but to drive and who have no money to change to an electric vehicle.  So much for a just transition.”

“It shows no consideration for anyone living in the countryside. For many in isolated rural areas, the car is the last available link to any kind of social life. To be able to visit a friend or family member is vital to the mental health of many people who don’t have access to any other kind of social outlet. To squeeze out that last freedom through carbon taxation is unfair and short sighted. Public transport is scant or in most cases non-existent in the majority of areas in my constituency. These decisions highlight how out of touch this government are with the people of Ireland.”

MacManus also voiced his concerns regarding a lack of ambition in addressing the concerns of farming families throughout rural Ireland. 

“We in Sinn Féin have put forward concrete proposals on how to revitalise Ireland’s family farms. This budget comes nowhere near attempting to do that. They’ve suggested a Covid Beef scheme but again it lacks any ambition and is most likely a short term temporary measure.

“Our party spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD launched Sinn Féin’s Suckler Beef Scheme last week. This would have provided those farmers who need support the most a payment of up to €300 per cow in recognition of the value of their product to the environment and to the Irish agri-food industry as well as rural economies. This is the kind of progressive big picture thinking we need for the Irish Agri-sector. It shouldn’t be about ‘surviving’, we in Sinn Féin want to see our family farmers and rural communities thriving” ENDS

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