Taoiseach accused of ‘shooting in the dark’ on job losses arising from emissions cuts

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has launched an extraordinary attack on independent research conducted by KPMG for the Irish Farmers Journal on the impact of emission ceilings for the agriculture sector.  

Speaking on Morning Ireland the Taoiseach also warned ‘everybody’ to avoid engaging in such ‘scaremongering’ and making claims that up to 10,000 jobs could be lost in Irish farming if the emissions ceilings being proposed by government become law.

Reacting to the comments, Tim Cullinan, President of the Irish Farmers Association said it was “extraordinary to hear Taoiseach Micheál Martin this morning dismiss an independent report by KPMG into the impact of emissions ceilings on farming as ‘scaremongering’, while the Government hasn’t done an economic impact assessment themselves.”

Mr Cullinan further noted that the research commissioned by the Irish Farmers Journal clearly demonstrated that a 21% emissions cut would result in 10,000 job losses, while a 30% cut would result in over 56,000 job losses and reduced output of nearly €4bn.”

“We have repeatedly asked for such an exercise to be carried out by our Government, but they have refused to do so. Micheál Martin is shooting in the dark and he has no idea what the economic or social impact of these ceilings will be in rural areas,” Mr Cullinan said.

Concluding his remarks the IFA President said:

“If anything, the KPMG report might underestimate the impact of carbon budgets on farmers as it does not factor in the cost increases for energy and transport which farmers will also have to carry. The question the Taoiseach needs to answer is: if he doesn’t agree with the KPMG analysis, what impact does he think the Government’s proposed emissions ceilings will have on the sector?”

The attack on the KPMG research by the Taoiseach comes on the same day as he is reported to have stated to reporters at COP26 that “he takes it as a compliment to be told he sounds like a member of the Green Party.”

However, he lamented the fact that Fianna Fail’s election manifesto commitments on the climate change did not get the same ‘profile’ as the other parties.

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