The ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, has added his voice to the calls for the Brexit Low Cost Loan Scheme for farmers announced by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure in Budget 2018 to be opened as quickly as possible given what he described as the “massive pressures” on farmers at present.
Mr. McCormack said that a significant number of farmers are currently facing unprecedented financial stress owing, initially, to the late Spring and then the Summer drought which he said has added thousands of Euro to particularly feed and fertilizer bills. “Bills have mounted up over the course of 2018 and incomes will be slashed over the same period. Cashflow is now a massive issue for farmers and one that will only intensify as the year progresses. These 'Low Cost Loans' have to materialize quickly and must be made available at interest rates similar to the last scheme – but the emphasis has to be on rolling them out to those farmers who need them most urgently and that could be a very significant number. The Brexit loan scheme for SME’s was opened in March 2018 and farmers - given the highly publicized pressures on them – are at a loss to understand why there is such a delay in their scheme. We have to see this opened and operating immediately”, concluded Mr. McCormack.