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Budget gives a little – not a lot

The reaction was predictable; Galway’s Government representatives heaped praised on this week’s budget as a cost-of-living fillip, but opposition TDs dismissed it as ‘spin’, not going far enough and merely reheating old announcements on the agricultural front.

Government Chief Whip, and Galway West TD, Hildegarde Naughton (FG) said the “cost-of-living budget aims to help people struggling with rising prices”.

Measures introduced will “put money back in workers pockets, protect the most vulnerable and, as well as once off payments, include permanent changes which will help households with the cost of living in the long-term, such as reductions in the cost of childcare and education,” she said.

But Galway/Roscommon TD, Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind) slammed the ‘spin-doctoring’ of Government and said agricultural announcements were just reheated and repackaged from last year.

He said farmers should know there is no new €200 SCEP scheme for suckler farmers next year. He said the TAMS farm capital investment scheme was already announced and the budget offered “nothing new”.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said the package for tillage farmers and soil scheme had already been announced.

The ACRES scheme, the Government’s flagship agri-environmental scheme, was limited to 50,000 farmers despite carbon taxes, he said.

“Farmers have been betrayed . . . one hundred times more has been put aside for nature, compared to the €27 million, because that’s basically all that’s in the budget (for farmers), for the sheep sector that needs it. We need to be honest with farmers; this budget is a clear reflection that you’re not wanted by this Government because the Greens are wagging its tail,” he said.

Caption: Ministers Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe unveiling this week’s budget.

Read full budget analysis in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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