Disappointment at budget ‘ignoring’ designated land

Budget 2019 has “ignored” the issue of paying proper compensation to farmers with designated lands, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock commented on the matter, saying he is very disappointed that the budget contained “no recognition of the need for proper compensation for designated lands”.

‘Undermines ability to farm’

“The ICSA wants to see an NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) scheme to compensate farmers for designation, as the process completely undermines the ability of farmers to farm the land – and in some cases completely devalues the land.

“For too many years, farmers with designated lands have been left without adequate compensation,” Sherlock asserted.

“The GLAS (Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme) is only a small help.

Many farmers who have designated land are not really compensated by GLAS because they would have been able to avail of GLAS anyway without the designation and all its negative impact.

Sherlock did however welcome the restoration of the full Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) funding to the pre-crash level.

“It is long overdue. The ANC payment is real money for farmers without any of the complex red tape that is associated with a lot of rural development schemes.”