Govt must work with EU to maintain CAP funding – Brendan Smith

– Any cuts to essential payments would be devastating for farmers –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Agriculture Minister to continue negotiations with his EU counterparts to maintain CAP funding for 2021-2027.  Deputy Smith is warning that the current proposal of a 5% cut to the budget would have a devastating impact on farmers here.

“The soundings from the March meeting of the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers was particularly worrying as it appeared that a 5% cut to the CAP budget was a real possibility.   I have been raising this issue since then, arguing for at least the current budget to be maintained.  Indeed, CAP funding needs to be increased to support farm families throughout Europe”, explained Deputy Smith.

“I am pleased that there appears to be some movement on this.  Minister Michael Creed has confirmed to me that a “declaration against a reduction in expenditure penned by like-minded Member States on May 31 gathering momentum at the June Council meeting. Support has grown for this position and I understand that up to twenty Member States have expressed support for this position”.  This is very welcome.

“Farmers here would find it very challenging to deal with a 5% cut in CAP funding; for many these payments are essential and are the difference between remaining viable and being forced out of business.  The cut would be particularly tough, given the fact that they had to make difficult decisions after the 10% cut, which was applied under the 2014-2020 CAP deal.

“I am urging Minister Creed to continue engaging with other EU countries to secure the current levels of funding for CAP in the best interests of our farmers and agri-community”.