Budget 2017 – The farmer: ‘Recovery in farming has been very slow – due mainly to Budget cuts’

A Galway farmer is hoping that he will recover losses brought on by a series of tough budgets.

Ambrose McDonagh is a cattle and sheep farmer near Portumna, and says the recessionary years and uncertainty over Brexit have seen his earnings fall significantly.

He says 2016 is one of the worst years he has ever had, and Ambrose would like to see an increase in the Areas of Natural Constraints scheme this year, which helps farmers living in marginal areas.

As a result of cuts to that scheme, he estimates he has lost €1,000 a year.

He also says he is facing difficulties passing on the family farm to his son.

Ambrose would also welcome changes to the Fair Deal scheme, which could allow farmers to exclude the value of farm assets for the first time.

This would then significantly reduce nursing home fees.

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