The IFA National Council, made up of representatives from all sectors and counties, has unanimously reiterated their support for IFA’s six principles that all prime cattle should be included in the BEAM Scheme.
Speaking following the meeting of the Council yesterday, IFA President Joe Healy said it’s wrong-headed and ill-judged that the Minister should seek to exclude one farming sector.
“It sets a dangerous precedent and it’s a very divisive move by the Minister. The view of the Council is that the Minister has approached this in a very dogmatic way, without any genuine consultation,” he said.
The Council said that the Minister’s proposed scheme is based on the assumption that all relevant animals in the reference period will be applied for and paid on. This is despite the fact that there are conditions in his draft scheme which will keep a lot of animals out, he said.
“The way the Minister has designed the scheme it is certain to result in the €100m not being fully spent. This is wrong and Minister Creed must ensure the scheme is set up in a way that every cent of the €100m is paid to farmers,” he said.
“If the scheme was based on realistic assumptions, the Minister could include all prime cattle from the dairy herd and the estimated cost of the extra animals could be covered without any reduction in the proposed payment rates. The Minister must also exclude all factory feedlots.”