As the IFA protest continues at the Fianna Fáil think in, IFA President Tim Cullinan said the meeting earlier was an opportunity to make the leader of Fianna Fáil aware of the impact of the cut in the Nitrates derogation and payments delays at farm level.
The IFA President said there’s still an opportunity to make a case to the European Commission in person and to address the issues and keep the derogation in place at its current level.
“Farmers are of the view that the derogation suits the Government agenda as it reduces cow numbers by the back door. The fact the Minister relied on a Zoom call to make the case for its retention feeds that view,” he said.
“The Tánaiste said he would reflect on the issues we raised, and revert to IFA,” he said.
On the delayed payments, Tim Cullinan said it’s not credible to say ANC payments couldn’t be made next week.
“The Minister has been busy telling everyone that the changes in the CAP have resulted in the payment delays. However, the ANC scheme has not changed yet the Minister says he can’t make payments on time. It’s completely illogical,” he said.
“The delay leaves farmers in a very difficult situation with cashflow pressures,” he said.
“There are numerous other examples of the Minister’s failure to take farmers’ views on board. These include the design of the latest suckler scheme; issues in the sheep sector; the destruction of tillage through the CAP; the inability to draw down BAR funding; and the forestry debacle. They are all examples of a Minister who doesn’t appear to be in control,” he said.
“Every approach this Government has taken is based on an ideology of reducing production. They keep talking about schemes to support farmers, but most of it goes on compliance costs, with little or no money funding ending up with farm families,” he said.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are sacrificing farmers to stay in power. They them need to stand up for farmers and rural Ireland,” he concluded.