Macra na Feirme National President John Keane
Macra na Feirme has said that the Government has not shown any commitment to young farmers, and has instead shown greater support for the digital gaming industry through tax credits worth up to €25m.
Macra claim there is nothing in Budget 2022 to address generational renewal or the reality that young farmers must meet dual challenges of food production and climate change.
Speaking after the Budget announcement, Macra na Feirme National President John Keane said: “This budget does not support young farmers. We do not see progress on the major challenges facing young people in rural Ireland. What we see is words, not deeds.
"The Minister has announced tax credits for the digital gaming industry worth up to €25m, but cannot make commitments to young farmers. Minister Donohue has effectively told the next generation considering farming careers to take up computer gaming instead of farming,” he said.
Minister Donohue said that 'we owe it to our children to be careful in how we manage public finances' but Macra na Feirme would also argue that we owe it to the farming community to provide for the sector so that there is a sector for our children to work in, enjoy and experience.
“This year’s Budget 2022 speech leaves young farmers with the desire to go indoors and take up gaming” said Keane.
Farming families have a "central role to play" in protecting the environment according to Minister Donohue but expect to have only more of the same. The government has said they are committed to generational renewal but have shown no desire to move beyond the status quo.
“The Digital Gaming sector is to get a bump from tax relief of 32% up to €25m spend. As Minister Donohue says this sector has ‘so much potential,’ the Minister needs to remember that everyone needs a farmer, the backbone of a wider agri-food industry, at least three times a day for food production” concluded Keane.
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