With the proposed details of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020 to be launched in Brussels tomorrow (Fri), the IFA President Joe Healy said the key issue for farmers is the size of the CAP Budget.
He said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must make it clear at EU Heads of State level that the recent Commission proposals on the CAP Budget are a non-runner.
Joe Healy said, “The Taoiseach must insist on an increased budget to take account of inflation and the cost of any additional measures imposed on farmers. This point must be made forcibly by Minister Creed when he meets like-minded Ministers for Agriculture to build alliances on this issue. This must be followed up by the Government to ensure farmers are not left short in the Budget negotiations. The future of farming and rural Ireland is at stake,” he said.
He said the recent proposals from the Commission were a not a ‘fair’ outcome and farmers would see through any attempt to put a spin on the situation. “The proposals are unfair and unacceptable and must be rejected.”
IFA will be intensifying its CAP campaign as the details emerge of the legislative proposals over the next number of weeks and months. This will include lobbying MEPs and TDs.
IFA has already lobbied over 80 TDs and Senators at national level where there was strong support for farmers and the CAP, which includes farm schemes which are vital to support low incomes.
Joe Healy said, “All sectors have shared in the economic revival, yet farmers have had their direct payments eroded by inflation. At the very least, farmers need a CAP increase in line with inflation”.
Joe Healy also said the IFA is very clear that direct payments should go to active farmers based on objective criteria on agricultural production and the provision of public goods.