Responding to comments from An Taoiseach, Mr. Leo Varadkar in relation to funding for a Rural Broadband Plan and the possibility of a Brexit bailout for farmers impacting on it, the President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that it is very unfair and inappropriate for the Taoiseach to effectively link these two issues which are completely separate.
The reality, Mr. McCormack said, is that Brexit related losses will impact on the current budget in 2019 while the Rural Broadband Plan is a capital project and is highly unlikely to have a major impact on the 2018 Budget outcome. Indeed, it is disappointing that the Taoiseach decided to effectively play one rural issue against another which is unfair and should not be a factor in relation to rural broadband.
The reality is that Brexit is and will directly impact on farmers and it is completely appropriate that supports are made available from both the EU and our Government to support the sector during potentially a very disruptive period while the Rural Broadband Project is a hugely important infrastructure project which should be treated the very same way as the many Government funded capital projects in Dublin.
Pitting one rural issue against another is not the way to proceed and both issues need to be addressed fairly and on their merit, concluded Mr. McCormack.
ENDS 1st March 2019
Pat McCormack, 087- 7608958.
ICMSA Head Office 061- 314677.