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“Farmers and fishers will benefit from liquidity supports for working capital and longer term investment” Minister Calleary welcomes July Stimulus announcement

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., today outlined the main elements of the July Stimulus which will benefit the agri-food and marine sector.

 

Minister Calleary said, “It is crucial that we address the financial needs of all businesses, including those in the agri-food sector, farmers, fishers and food businesses; they will need support both for working capital and longer-term investment. I welcome the inclusion of farmers and fishers in the new €2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme and confirmation of the further expansion of €500 million of the Future Growth Loan Scheme. Coupled with the range of other supports announced in the July Stimulus, it is a comprehensive package of measures”.

 

This is in addition to the range of specific supports already put in place for the sector as part of the Government’s economic response to Covid challenges:

 

  • An allocation of €50 million in Exchequer funding has been provided for the beef sector for a support scheme for beef finishing farms which have been severely impacted – the details of which will be announced shortly.
  • Following a campaign by Member States, spear-headed by Ireland, the European Commission introduced a scheme of aids to private storage under the CAP, which has been of benefit for the dairy sector in particular.
  • A Covid-19 voluntary Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme for fishing vessels is being implemented.
  • Various practical flexibilities for applications for the main farm schemes have been introduced.

 

Minister Calleary stated, “Like many businesses, our farmers, fishers and food companies have played a vital role during the pandemic. The agri-food and marine sector proved its resilience through the crisis, continuing farming and food processing activities, keeping supply chains moving, and ensuring that Irish food and drink products remained on Irish, European and international supermarket shelves throughout. Later this year, to coincide with the Budget in October, the Government will set out a National Economic Plan. I will ensure that my Department and its agencies, in consultation with stakeholders, will continue to monitor the impacts on the agri-food sector as the situation evolves, and to provide appropriate supports to the sector.”

 

The stimulus package also includes an increased capital allocation of €17 million to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for:

  • Howth - Fishery Harbour Centre Middle Pier Re-development Project
  • additional allocation for on-farm renewable energy investments under the TAMs scheme;
  • investment in a large-scale habitat restoration project by Coillte.

 

Commenting on these additional investments: Minister Calleary said “The Howth Fishery Harbour Centre Middle Pier Re-development Project will provide better berthing facilities to encourage increased fishing activity, as well as facilitating greater leisure activity elsewhere in the Harbour.

 

This Government has set ambitious targets for our agriculture and forestry sectors to contribute to the environmental goals in the Programme for Government. On-farm renewable energy generation offers huge scope for contributing to these goals and I am very pleased with the significantly growing numbers of applications under our TAMs scheme for the solar investments in particular.”

 

Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett also welcomed the additional investments  adding “I’m very pleased to see the focus in the stimulus package on large-scale environmental projects. This will help to further position Irish agriculture and forestry sector as a world leader in sustainability. I’m particularly delighted with the allocation for large-scale habitat restoration project by Coillte on Atlantic blanket bog. This is a 2,100 hectare project which will restore Coillte lands through rewetting the peat soils focussed on rare habitats. It will deliver significant environmental gain through both biodiversity and climate benefits as well as delivering enhanced recreation and public amenity value. The establishment by Coillte of its non-profit Coillte Nature division has facilitated the scope for these types of projects and I congratulate Coillte on their initiative and ambition for this project”.

 

 

Note for Editors

The €7.4 billion package is “Backing Ireland's Businesses”, including; a new Employment Wage Support Scheme to succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, to run until April 2021; an initiative on 0% interest for first year of SME loans; an extension and expansion of the Restart Grant; and further details of the €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme; as well business finance measures, including the €500 million expansion of the Future Growth Loan Scheme. It is “Helping People, especially Young People, get back to work”, including investments in job creation and higher education. It is “Building Confidence and Investing in Communities”, including the introduction of various taxation initiatives, including measures on Income Tax Loss Relief and Income averaging for farmers. It is “Preparing Ireland for the Economy of the Future”, with various investments in research, training, and other enterprise supports. These include the expansion of the Enterprise Ireland (EI) €180 million Sustaining Enterprise Fund scheme, to include direct grant support to viable businesses, and €10 million in funding for the EI Seed and Venture Capital Fund. There will also be additional online retail (€25.5 million) and Brexit preparedness supports (€20 million) for businesses.

 

Further information is available at www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/5654a-july-jobs-stimulus/

 

 

ENDS

Date Released: 24 July 2020