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Why Are Irish Farmers Above Criticism?
national | eu | opinion/analysis Tuesday August 16, 2011 18:42 by Paddy Hackett rasherrs at eircom dot net
Billions given to farmers by the state
The mainstream media (tv, radios and print) repeatedly attacks workers pay and conditions in the public service. Yet there is hardly a comment from them concerning the farmers which are on the whole self-employed business men. These self-employed according to figures for last year received 1.8 billion euros from the EU. One billion of this is paid from Irish tax revenue. The rest of it is paid by the EU itself.
As I understand it these farmers dont have to grow crops or breed animals to avail of these funds. Yet there is little discussion on this in the Irish media. Insstead themedia and others endlessly attack public service employees. The leadership of these public service unions, including the teacher union leadership,ns contribute almost nothing to the defence of these workers.
Besides this pot of gold the farmers may receive other moneys from European revenue. Many of the farmers officially retire and receive a pension for this while their sons continue to farm. But many of these older farmers only officially retire. Many of them unofficially continue to work while picking up their regular pension. And as far as I know their pensions were not cut as were those of the public service.
Finally many Irish farmers are "hobby farmers". They have had other jobs. They have worked in the building industry and some still do. And all the while they, as I understand secure grants etc from the state.