Ian Paisley MP warns that Government must address the needs of farming community before it is too late.
This week in the House of Commons, Ian Paisley the MP for North Antrim sent a warning to Government that the needs of the UK rural community should not be ignored.
During the debate concerning the Queen’s speech, Paisley called for more support to farmers to ensure a knock on effect of rising prices is not felt across the whole of the UK.
The MP intends to hold further discussions with the Secretary of State for DEFRA Owen Patterson in the coming months surrounding this important issue.
Speaking in the chamber he said:
“A disaster is coming to our farming community that will dramatically affect the cost of living through the rising cost of food. We have had one of the harshest winters ever. That is affecting and will affect, the price of foodstuffs to feed our cattle and our sheep in the countryside.
If next winter is equally harsh, I predict that this time next year the cost of food could be as much as double what it is this year. A bale of hay to feed cattle can cost as much as £60 in Northern Ireland – almost triple last year’s price. That will have a knock-on effect on the cost of living of ordinary households up and down the United Kingdom because it will affect how much a person can purchase to feed their family.
The Government had better be warned about this now so that they can try to address the needs of the farming community across this country.”
The MP then recounted to the House an extremely sad story from the Republic of Ireland:
“The impact of the cost of living in our rural communities is leading to an increase in suicide. For example, there was a very saddening episode last week in the Republic of Ireland, in County Monaghan, where a farmer shot 40 of his livestock because he could no longer afford to feed them, and then he turned the gun on himself.
This is a diabolical situation that is starting to affect our economy and will see the price of food increase.”
Agriculture – Farming – Northern Ireland