‘DUP is holding farmers to ransom’ says McAleer

A Sinn Féin MLA has accused the DUP of ‘holding farmers to ransom by refusing to form an executive’.

By Joanne Knox
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 2:24 pm

Declan McAleer said the “failure of the DUP to re-enter the executive and unlock £70million of support for farmers is grossly irresponsible”.

Mr McAleer was speaking after the Balmoral Show, where he engaged with hundreds of farmers during his three days in attendance.

“It is clear that farmers are caught in the middle of a storm with the spiralling cost of fuel, fertilizer and feed in the midst of Brexit, with the uncertainty this will bring for future funding,” Mr McAleer commented.

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Sinn Fein MLA Declan McAleer

“It is, therefore, reprehensible that the DUP is holding farmers to ransom by refusing to form an executive and get much needed support out to hard-pressed farmers.

“Most farmers I met broadly welcome the announcement that the Single Farm Payment will be issued earlier this year, however, this will also lead to a longer winter, particularly if the DUP continue to drag their heels in getting the executive up and running.”

He continued: “In March, the minister made a bid for £70 million to help the agri-food sector in the short term.

“Sinn Féin supports this bid, but the funding remains locked until an executive is put in place.

“The DUP portray themselves as a party which supports farmers, now is the time for them to step up to the plate and get back round the Executive table with the other parties and get this much needed support to farmers without further delay,” Mr McAleer concluded.