Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must back farmers and insist on an increased CAP budget when he meets with EU Commissioner for Budget, Gunther Oettinger today (Tues) in Dublin to discuss the EU Budget for the seven years post-2020, IFA President Joe Healy has said.
Joe Healy said Irish agriculture must be strongly supported through CAP to continue to deliver for the economy, the environment, and society. IFA has make a strong case for each Member State to increase its contribution to the EU Budget from 1 to 1.2% of Gross National Income, to reflect the impact of Brexit on the one hand, and the improved EU economic conditions on the other.
“Since 1990 the percentage of overall EU budget that is going to the CAP has fallen from 70% to 38% and the real value of payments to farmers has fallen as they haven’t kept pace with inflation. Any further cut would be a disaster for agriculture and rural Ireland,” he said.
“Despite the contribution the sector makes to the EU economy and public goods, farming remains a low-income activity. Direct payments from CAP make up more than 100% of incomes in some sectors and it is vital that the budget available for these payments and other support measures is increased.”
Joe Healy was speaking as EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger is due to hold a number of meetings in Dublin, including with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to discuss the Multiannual Financial Framework post-2020 and EU finances.