Fine Gael Sells Out Small Farmers

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Varadkar’s announcement that he will re-appoint Phil Hogan as EU Commissioners is a sign that Fine Gael will eventually back the EU-Mercosur deal. Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, may shed a few tears but the government will not vote against it.

The EU-Mercosur trade creates a huge market for the big EU car, pharmaceutical and finance companies. It will be used by the far right, Brazil President, Bolsonaro, to reward his rancher supporters.

These want to cut down the Amazon rainforest. Bolsonaro has already put indigenous lands under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture. This will pave the way for the cattle and soya agribusiness to cut through the Amazon. In June 355 square miles was cut down.

So while Varadkar talks about climate change, he will back a deal that accelerates it. The EU will be selling more cars – and Bolsanaro will be cutting down more forests!

Michael Creed tells farmer that he will use health and safety clauses to prevent beef flooding the Irish markets. But EU trade deals normally include an Investor Court System which allows big corporations to sue government who try to do this.

There is already a crisis in Irish agriculture which Brexit and the EU-Mercosur trade deal makes worse. Half of Irish beef farmers earned less than €10,000 in 2017 and these smaller farmers will be most hit by the changes.

But while small farmers are struggling, three Irish companies ABP, Dawn Meats and Kepak have become the biggest beef processors in Europe. Farmers are being ripped off by the likes of Larry Goodman -and sold out by right wing politicians.

It is time to change political allegiance and form alliance with those fighting Ireland’s political establishment.

Here are some of People Before Profit’s policies.

  • Oppose the EU-Mercosur deal – vote it down.
  • Take the big beef processors into public ownership – to stop them ripping off farmers.
  • The big producers benefits disproportionately from CAP. Introduce a lecy on them and transfer income to smaller farmers.
  • With Brexit and climate change we need a ‘just transition’ out of beef to other forms of agriculture. A just transition means that incomes are protected by state support and farmers are encouraged to stay on the land.