IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the CAP budget must be the top priority for the new Taoiseach Michael Martin at today’s EU Council meeting.
“Recent national political events mustn’t distract from the importance of the meeting this weekend. The future of Irish agriculture is at stake,” he said.
“While progress has been made on the budget IFA estimates that the CAP budget is 9% lower, in real terms than the budget for the previous seven years,” he said.
“We are particularly concerned about the allocation for direct payments in Pillar one. The current proposal will not be sufficient to even sustain the Basic Payment Scheme at the same level as 2020,” he said.
The IFA President said, “The Taoiseach has to be crystal clear that there can be no cut to any farmer payments. IFA has been campaigning for an overall CAP budget that would cover inflation and the extra asks placed on farmers”.
“It is not sustainable to expect farmers to take on more and more measures for the public good while receiving less funding. It the EU wants us to do more, then they must increase funding in line with any extra asks,” he said.
IFA’s European Director Liam MacHale, who is based in Brussels, is at the talks.