Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 6 Nov 1974

Vol. 275 No. 7

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fertiliser Subsidy.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if, in view of the high price of artificial fertiliser, he will consider approaching the EEC to provide a subsidy for the purchase of fertiliser as it is uneconomic for many farmers to use it at the present price.


asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries whether he intends to provide a fertiliser subsidy for farmers in the coming year.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 13 together.

I do not accept the suggestion that it is uneconomic to use fertilisers at present prices.

The price of phosphatic fertilisers continues to be subsidised by the Government here. I see no prospect of an EEC subsidy for fertilisers nor of any increase in the rate of our own subsidy.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that 10.10.20 will cost £100 a ton next Spring? Does he not consider that uneconomic to put on land at the present time, particularly for grazing animals?

My information is that the price of 10.10.20 is £88.50p and the subsidisation of fertilisers costs the Exchequer more than £5 million——

Will the Parliamentary Secretary tell me where I can get compound fertiliser for £88 a ton and I will give him an order now?

——and money does not fall from heaven. It has to be got from the tax paying community and I think in all the circumstances a subsidy of more than £5 million towards the purchase of fertilisers is fair and reasonable.

Question No. 14.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware of the dramatic increase in the price of fertilisers since this time last year when it was around £60 a ton and now it is up to £100 a ton?

Unfortunately the price of fertilisers, as we all know, has increased sharply but to offset this increase so have farm prices such as barley, milk and so on.

What about cattle prices? They have not increased. They have gone down.

Question No. 14.

Is that Fianna Fáil's fault?

So far as cattle prices are concerned we know the general decline there. When Deputy Lynch was preaching about the EEC he told the people that once we were in farmers would——

If we were in they would be all right.

No. In Northern Ireland, Wales and Britain prices are lower than here.

They did not opt for intervention.

The Minister is doing a very good job.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say why prices in the UK are lower?

Because they are lower.

I would remind the House that this question deals with the price of fertilisers and fertiliser subsidy only.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary know why? I am asking a simple question.

Deputy Lynch may be a little smart. If Britain do not accept intervention that is their own business. I am sure the Deputy is not claiming jurisdiction over them.


Would the Parliamentary Secretary say which crop prices have increased to compensate for the increase in fertiliser prices?

That is a separate question.

The Parliamentary Sectary has already referred to this.

The Chair rules it is a separate question.