Creed: ‘Budget 2019 is not all sweetness and light’

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has acknowledged that Budget 2019 is “not all sweetness and light”.

Budget 2019 was revealed earlier this week, with a number of implications for farmers and the agriculture sector.

Speaking on Radio Kerry’s Agritime show this week, the minister stated that one of the biggest achievements of this budget is that it “balances the books”.

“When you balance the books you have choices to make – you are not borrowing – and bear in mind we are hugely indebted in terms of our national debt at €42,000 per man, woman and child in the country.

So balancing the books brings its own discipline to the process. No we didn’t get everything we wanted, but – by any reasonable analysis – [the agriculture sector] got a pretty fair shake.

The minister was adamant that this is a defensible budget that the Government can stand behind.

“There are things in this budget that are difficult, not least for example in the hospitality sector in terms of the VAT increase. So it’s not all sweetness and light; certainly not.

“But is it a right budget for the right time? I think it is. I think it’s prudent, I think it gives in certain areas – it is committed to improving public services. It also recognises difficulties.

“We don’t want an election, it is the last thing the country wants now. I think the Taoiseach has been very, very clear about that,” he said.

Minister Creed also indicated that he is confident that progress could made in terms of renewing a confidence and supply arrangement.