Colreavy highlights impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, marine and food Michael Colreavy TD has highlighted the impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture.

Deputy Colreavy today met a delegation from the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland who raised the impact of high fuel costs of the agricultural industry.

Speaking in the Dáil last night Deputy Colreavy said:

“Agriculture is doing well, but the agri-food sector is under a significant threat from rising fuel costs. Fuel costs for farmers have doubled in the last three years; however, profits for farmers have not increased to match this price. The profit margins of farmers are being eroded and this is putting serious financial pressure on them and on their families.

“The cost that agricultural contractors now face when trying to carry out their work on farms is enormous. Contractors face massive costs during the summer and harvest periods. These massive costs are then in turn off-loaded on the farmer.

“In the last two years agricultural diesel has gone up by a massive 54%, while road diesel has increased by almost 35%. At a time when government call for industrial and commercial competitiveness, Ireland’s competitiveness in agriculture is being damaged due to expensive road haulage and the distance we are from our markets.

“I am calling on the government to substantially reduce fuel duties to stop the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel. The high price of fuel is causing severe hardships on consumers, with government taxes accounting for more than 57 per cent of the cost of fuel according to the Irish petrol retail association. It is within the remit of government to address the considerable extra hardship placed on rural dwellers by these taxes. Motoring is a necessity in rural Ireland, we don’t have buses passing our doors every 15 minutes or a luas or taxi ranks that we can go to so as to get our kids to school or travel to work or the shop or visit a doctor. The Government should also seriously consider the law of diminishing returns – energy and transport costs are seriously damaging our local and national competitiveness.”

Selection conference, 20/11/2010

Colreavy selected as Sinn Féin candidate for Sligo/North Leitrim

Sinn Féin has selected Councillor Michael Colreavy to be their candidate for SligoNorth Leitrim constituency in the coming general election.  During the selection convention, Cllr. Chris MacManus declined his own nomination and urged the delegates to unanimously approve Cllr. Colreavy, who he formally proposed be the Sinn Féin candidate. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Seán MacManus and enthusiastically endorsed by the large attendance in Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo on Friday night last.

During the convention, warm tributes were paid to Cllr Seán MacManus who some months ago indicated his intention not to seek a nomination.

Cllr. Colreavy, a native of Sligo town is a former employee of the HSE and is married with 8 children. Living in Manorhamilton, he has been a member of Leitrim County Council since 1999.

Following his selection, Cllr. Colreavy thanked all who had supported his nomination. “I do not regard myself as a politician; I regard myself as a community representative, and this will not change if I am elected as a TD. I am not contesting the election because of any personal quest for fame or fortune;  I am a contender because this area and this country so badly needs a new way of thinking and a better form of representation. As a Leitrim-based candidate who was reared and worked in Sligo, I believe I am ideally positioned to represent all the people of this constituency.”

“I realise it is a huge challenge to follow in the footsteps of the late John Joe McGirl TD and of Cllr. Seán MacManus, who has done so much over the years to build the Sinn Féin organisation and to represent the interests of people in this area. I am heartened that Seán has committed to continuing his career as a Councillor and will be working as hard as ever during the next election campaign”

“At local level, I intend to focus on the restoration of Sligo General Hospital as a regional centre of excellence; protection of primary and community care; ensuring every child has the right to a quality education and that people can live securely and with dignity in their own homes. I will insist that the remaining stretch of N4 road at Cloonamahon is completed, together the N16 Sligo to Blacklion road. I will fight for realistic job creation supports and a reduction in the unnecessary red tape smothering business and agriculture. I will also fight for a gas line to Sligo, and for a complete review of the disgraceful decision to give away our natural resources with no benefit accruing to our people.”

“Never before in our history did our country and our people need a new way of thinking and better government. I squirmed with embarrassment when I saw the Taoiseach and Ministers strutting the world stage with their chests out boasting about the Irish economy. I reacted with incredulity when the Taoiseach called Sinn Féin “economic basket cases” because we (rightly) predicted long before the last general election that the Irish economy and banking system was set to crash land. Government bluster, bluff and abuse replaced rational debate. These incompetents have sold out our freedom, our independence and our future. There is one and only one decision they could make to help – they could and should declare an immediate general election and let the people decide who has the vision and competence to lead us out of this economic mess”

“Sinn Féin has published a detailed set of proposals which would fix the economy in six years. The proposals have been costed based on Department of Finance figures and entail:

  • A taxation system where those who have most pay most
  • Maximum annual salary of €100,000 for Ministers and €75,000 for TDs
  • Maximum annual salary of €100,000 for public servants and employees in semi-state bodies
  • Reform the expenses regime for public representatives and senior civil servants
  • End the public subsidy of private healthcare and establish a state company for the wholesale distribution of drugs
  • Transfer of €7 billion from the National Pension Reserve fund for a state-wide infrastructural development programme”

“The budget proposals of Fianna Fail / Green Party; Fine Gael and Labour can only damage our economy further. Reducing employment and increasing unemployment as a recipe for even more disaster. Small wonder the government predicates their economic forecast on 100,000 people emigrating over four years. With 450,000 currently unemployed and a government response that emigration is good it is little wonder that people are fearful for their future”

“There is a better way for our economy and for our people. Our government must be made to understand that our economy is for the benefit of our people, not for the financial institutions. Our government must be made to understand that education, healthcare and decent homes are a right, not a privilege available only to the wealthy. Our government must be made to understand that they owe support to people struggling with unemployment and mortgage arrears created by government mismanagement. People must now stand up to reclaim our economy, to reclaim our democracy, to reclaim our future”

Caoimhghín O’Caoláin TD and Sinn Féin leader in the Dáil outlined Sinn Féin’s vision of the future, and urged everyone to actively support Cllr. Colreavy’s election campaign, and said he looked forward to welcoming Michael Colreavy as a TD to Leinster House following the next election.

Cllr. Michael Colreavy speaks at the selection conference

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