18 03 2020
IFA President Tim Cullinan said the offer by the EU Commission to allow member states to extend the application deadline for Basic Payment Scheme by one month cannot result in any delay in payments.
IFA National Livestock Chairman, Brendan Golden said the key message from the Jim Power report on the beef sector is that CAP payments to beef farmers must be increased to offset the damage done to the sector since decoupling.
He said the next Minister for Agriculture must insist that direct payments to beef and suckler farmers are increased in the next CAP to address the income crisis at farm level.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said the report also outlines the devastating impact of CAP cuts in the form of budget cuts, decoupling, modulation, convergence and other cuts on the incomes of livestock farmers.
He said Power points to Teagasc research which shows that in the top one third of Teagasc Profit Monitor farms for sucklers, the direct payments/premiums per hectare from 2008 to 2017 has fallen by €156 per hectare or 24%.
For non-breeding or fattening farms, the direct payments/premiums per hectare has fallen by €374 per hectare or 45%.
On the impact of CAP reform, Power concludes, “Direct payments are of critical importance to suckler farmers, but these payments have only increased marginally in nominal terms since 2005. This has been detrimental to suckler farmers, which in turn has been bad for beef producers in general, but for the West of Ireland in particular, where suckler farming is very important”.
Speaking from Brussels, IFA President Tim Cullinan has acknowledged the strong comments from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in defence the CAP Budget today in Brussels, as it appears talks will go into tomorrow (Sat).
Speaking as he arrived in Brussels this morning, IFA President Tim Cullinan said any cut in the CAP budget would be a devastating blow for Irish farmers and rural Ireland.
“We have made it clear to the Taoiseach, who will be at the EU Council meeting today that Ireland must be prepared to veto this proposal and reject any cut in the CAP,” he said.
“We are very concerned that the current uncertainty about the formation of the next Government is distracting from this vital EU Council meeting.”
“We are in Brussels today to continue our lobbying efforts against this devastating proposal,” said the IFA President.
“This is the most significant issue for farm families for the next decade and the Taoiseach must bring his complete focus to defending Irish farmers.”
“In fact, what is needed is an increased CAP budget to at least take account of inflation and any additional asks being placed on farmers.”
The CAP brings €1.8bn in EU funds to rural Ireland each year, which is a significant injection into the rural economy.
“The viability and sustainability of thousands of family farms will be threatened if these proposals, or anything like them, are adopted by member states” he said.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the leaked proposal of President of the European Council Charles Michel would be a huge blow for Irish farmers. It must be rejected by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the EU Council meeting next week.