09 Jan 2013
IFA PRESIDENT LEADS DELEGATION IN MEETING WITH MINISTER COVENEYUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan led a delegation of key commodity Chairmen in a meeting yesterday (Tues) with the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney on a wide range of issues, including CAP reform, trade deals and Budget cuts.
John Bryan said the Minister was left in no doubt as to the anger among drystock and low-income farmers over cuts to the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme and the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. He said this was unfinished business and the most damaging effects of the Budget would have to be re-visited by the Minister.
The Budget cuts were also raised by the IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns, the IFA Sheep Chairman James Murphy and the IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy. On the changes to Farm Assist, Flor McCarthy said the Minister must engage with the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton on the issue, as the changes to the income assessment will lead to significant reductions for the most vulnerable section of farming.
The IFA President said the strong stance by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture to secure a full Budget for both Pillar 1 and Pillar 11 in the CAP 2014-2020 must be maintained. “Neither Ireland nor farm families can afford any cuts in the next EU Budget to be agreed in February, which will be worth €11bn to the Irish economy over the next seven years. The Minister committed to raising the importance of a full Budget for Ireland with the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy during his visit here this week.” John Bryan said the Government must keep 50:50 co-financing in place for the next Rural Development Programme to give a total Programme worth €700m each year.
On the pending trade deal with Canada, John Bryan said the Government must resist any attempt to undermine the livestock sector in Europe.
IFA National Dairy Chairman Kevin Kiersey raised the issue of market supports for dairy prices in the new CAP, saying funding must be secure.
IFA National Grain Chairman Noel Delany said there would have to be adjustments to the greening proposals from the EU Commission, as they were too restrictive for tillage farmers.