Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has once again called on the government to bring forward strong proposals in relation to the need to protect CAP funding. He wants to see the CAP budget increased, saying a reduction in funding “cannot be countenanced”.
Deputy Brendan Smith raised the issue with the Minister for Agriculture in the Dáil this week.
“I am extremely concerned by the commentary following the March meeting of the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers, where CAP post-2020 was the main item on the agenda. The proposal to cut the CAP budget by 5% is particularly worrying, given the fact that these payments make up the bulk of farm incomes for many families, not only across Cavan and Monaghan, but right across the country”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.
“While I appreciate that the decision by Britain to withdraw from the EU has a substantial impact on the amount of funding available, I believe the remaining 27 countries should contribute more to negate a shortfall.
“I welcome the Taoiseach’s address to the European Parliament earlier this year in which he indicated that Ireland is open to contributing more. Our government needs to press for other countries to do the same but so far has failed to do so, which has effectively resulted in this 5% cut.
“This is the second cut to CAP budgets under Fine Gael’s watch. A 10% cut was applied under the 2014-2020 CAP deal. Our Ministers need to prove themselves and get back to the negotiating table. Unless the CAP budget is retained, it will spell major financial difficulty for our farmers and primary producers”.