The Chairperson of ICMSA Farm Business Committee has welcomed the joint announcement by Ministers Humphries, Creed and Donohue of the Brexit Loan Scheme but he went on to note the almost complete lack of specifics and real details around the farmer ‘element’ of this scheme. Shane O’Loughlin said that the lack of clarity on the loan package was being compounded by the original SME Brexit Loan scheme (which excluded primary agri producers) being the only information available on the SCBI website: “If a farmer wants to consider applying, there is no obvious procedure to which he or she can refer or follow”, he said.
“Farmers are daily making their projections and financial plans in terms of investment and – against the background of historically unprecedented uncertainty – ICMSA doesn’t think that it was unreasonable to ask the Government to provide relevant information on the actual announcement of the scheme and there has been two years to sort this out”, noted Mr. O’Loughlin.
“Our first reaction is that the minimum amount of €50,0000 will actually be in excess of many requirements, we appreciate that there must be a cut-off at a particular point, but we would lower the amount to €20,000. We’d also be very disappointed at the decision to permit an interest rate of 4.5% given that the previous scheme had money available at 2.95% – a rate that is itself higher than would ordinarily be charged in similar circumstances in other European states. This is an option and we’re happy to acknowledge that”, said Mr. O’Loughlin, who also welcomed the fact that security will not have to be offered for the loan application to be considered.
Ends 27 March 2019
Shane O’Loughlin, 086-8386031
Chairperson, ICMSA Farm Business Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office