Taxpayer should not have to borrow to buy bogs – Naughten

In Agriculture by Denis Naughten

Time for sanity on turf cutting issue

Farm LandscapeWith the financial crisis, the cost of fuel going through the roof and families struggling to make ends meet Denis Naughten has called a sanity to prevail on the issue of turf cutting.

“The Government has no money left aside to pay compensation to turf cutters, so instead of borrowing money why not get the local wildlife inspectors and representatives of the turf cutters around a table and thrash out a solution to this issue once and for all?” stated Denis Naughten.

“The frustrating part of this issue is that there is a solution to it, if the political masters are prepared to listen and implement it. The fact is that the country cannot afford to buy out the legal rights that landowners have on these bogs, which could cost up to €26,000m based on Bord na Mona figures, money which we as a country don’t have.

“The Turf Cutters & Contractors Association has put forward a cost effective solution and that should form the basis of a long-term agreed solution, which would get the Government off the political hook that it has created for itself.

“While the Government has backed itself into a corner it is still not too late for it to announce a review of its policy, which would allow the Environment Minister and Government TDs to save face.

“The fact is that no genuine attempt has been made to truly work with stakeholders on the ground. Mediation is needed to address this impasse before it comes to a head in the spring. By facilitating discussions between the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association and the National Parks & Wildlife Service working on the ground, I believe we can arrive at an outcome which will address the concerns of all parties,” concluded Denis Naughten.