Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said she is deeply concerned about how recent hikes in diesel costs will affect Irish farmers.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after it was revealed that the cost of agricultural diesel was up 20% on this time last year.
“Irish farmers have had a horrendous winter and many of them are just keeping their head above water,” she said.
“A long, wet winter combined with a fodder crisis and a complete lack of interest from the Government means that while the weather may be improving many Irish farms are still suffering huge cashflow problems.
“A 20% hike in diesel costs is just another kick they do not need while they are down.
“Industry media is reporting that the increased price of diesel is seeing silage contractors face additional costs of up to €500 per day.
“This will put farmers between a rock and a hard place as they decide between costs they can’t afford now or facing yet another devastating fodder shortage next year.
“And of course all of this is being exacerbated by the proposed 5% cut to the CAP budget, a cut that will hit farmers directly at a time when they what they need is additional support, not the rug pulled out from underneath them.
“The government completely and utterly failed farmers this year, at one stage claiming that a fodder crisis didn’t even exist. These issues do not happen out of the blue; when it comes to farming the events that happen in the summer effect what happens in the winter and vice versa.
“I would urge the government to learn from the mistakes they have made, to keep a close eye on this and other developing issues that are effecting farmers and to change their current blasé attitude to rural Ireland altogether.”