Ulster Unionist candidates in Newry-Armagh Danny Kennedy and Sam Nicholson have accused Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill of ignoring the farm crisis in Northern Ireland for vanity projects initiated promoted under the narrow agenda of Sinn Fein.
“Farm families in every sector of agriculture face a daily crisis, as the agriculture industry falls to its knees, yet the Sinn Fein Minister appears to be only interested in the relocation of her department’s headquarters from Belfast to Ballykelly in Co Londonderry,” the UUP pair assert,
“This Sinn Fein vanity issue clearly ignores the wishes of department staff and is bizarrely being supported by other Assembly Executive parties who frankly, should know better.
“In speaking to farmers across the Newry-Armagh constituency from every sector,we share their anger and frustration at the failure of Stormont to help change, or even significantly influence, the actions of the multi-nationals in terms of fair prices for their produce, or the banks for the unremitting pressure they continue to place on families, sometimes with tragic consequences,” the UUP candidates add.
Sam Nicholson, meanwhile, is calling for the development of a proper broadband network to all homes and businesses for both urban and rural areas in accordance with the recent OFCOM report.
“How can the Department of Agriculture expect our farmers to upload their claim forms for single farm payment when there are a large number of areas which have little or no internet provision? We need to work with all the stakeholders to provide this service throughout the area,” said Councillor Nicholson.