Sinn Féin MLA and Chairperson of the Assembly’s Agriculture committee, Declan McAleer, has expressed serious concern at proposals from the British government to remove lower duty rates from red diesel in this week’s budget.
Speaking on the issue, Mr McAleer said:
“The latest plan from the British chancellor would see the removal of the lower duty rate from red diesel with a sudden increase in price of around 50p per litre.
“This would have a devastating impact on our farmers who have little option but to use red diesel in their tractors and other agriculture machinery used for farming and food production.
“This increase in red diesel cost, in addition to the uncertainty on Brexit and plummeting farm gate prices will place serious strain on farmers.
“This is another example of the British government’s blatant disregard for our farmers and the unique circumstances in Ireland.
“We are of course conscious of our obligations to forcefully tackle the climate crisis and we must plan to support farmers to reduce emissions in the short, medium and longer term.
“However, here and now our farmers are under severe pressure, and as their representatives we need to stand up for them to make sure their voices are heard.”
“I have tabled a priority question to the DAERA Minister about these latest plans to undermine our farmers and I intend to raise the matter next week when I represent the committee in London at the Inter-parliamentary forum on Brexit.”