IFA Rural Development Chairman, Flor McCarthy, has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to give assurances to farmers that the farm investment grant schemes under the TAMS will not be affected by the proposed changes to the EU co-financing rates in the CAP Rural Development Programme over the next two years.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman has said the proposed reduction in expenditure to Rural Development measures must not lead to cutbacks in support to vital farm schemes and wider Rural Development measures.
Mr. McCarthy said the proposal to increase the level of EU co-financing under the current programme from 50% to 85% will mean that the national requirement will reduce by up to €200m over the next two years.
“While the existing commitments of grant aid under TAMS and Leader projects will not be affected, it will put in serious doubt the on-going commitment to farm investment and rural schemes,” he said.
Mr. McCarthy called on the Minister for Agriculture to give assurances that the initial allocation of €90m to TAMS will remain in place. “Unused Rural Development funds should be secured so that Ireland draws down its full allocation of €2.5bn of EU funding in the current 7-year programme. This is vital as it will give Ireland a strong base to argue from in the allocation of Pillar 2 funding over the 7 year period from 2014 – 2020.”