08 Feb 2013
IFA REACTION TO EU BUDGET AGREEMENTUncategorized
Speaking from Brussels, IFA President John Bryan said the EU Budget, which has been agreed by the Heads of Government in Brussels today, provides funding for a Common Agricultural Policy which can underpin Irish agriculture and Rural Development from 2014-2020.
John Bryan said farmers will be disappointed that the funding allocation agreed as part of the EU Budget represents a reduction for both the Single Farm Payment and the Rural Development Programme. “These negotiations were difficult and complex, with huge pressure from some countries to slash the EU Budget. The Taoiseach Enda Kenny worked hard to build alliances with the French President Francois Hollande and others that minimised planned <span>cuts to the CAP Budget, and the additional funds for Ireland in Pillar 11 secured are very necessary.”</span>
However, Mr Bryan said it is essential that the EU Rural Development funding is matched at least 50:50 from the national exchequer to ensure that all the Rural Development Programmes necessary to support vunerable sectors and regions are delivered.
He said, “The focus for the Government and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in the CAP Reform negotiations must now be to resolve the difficulties for Irish farmers with the greening and internal convergence proposals”.
John Bryan said, “The current Commission proposals on convergence of the Single Farm Payment are totally unacceptable to Irish farmers. Minister Coveney must secure the flexibilities necessary for Ireland to protect and support active productive farmers before any deal is finalised.”