Next CAP programme must protect small farmers – Smith


Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and European Parliament candidate for Midlands-North-West Brendan Smith has said the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should protect Irish farmers and has called for the Pillar 1 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) ceiling of €60,000 to be adopted.


Deputy Smith commented, “The next CAP reform should permit Member States to decide on the capping of direct payments at national level. Secondly, it is Fianna Fáil policy that the next CAP should reduce the current BPS payment ceiling to €60,000 in Ireland. The current ceiling is €150,000.


“Such a policy shift would ensure that future CAP funds safeguard small and medium sized farmers.


“This is a socially progressive policy which will help to safeguard the important family model of farming and those on low incomes.


“Fianna Fáil were the first political party in 2017 to call for a €60,000 BPS ceiling. We will continue to campaign to achieve this as a key measure of our agriculture policy in the time ahead.


“These same views were echoed at a recent public meeting in County Monaghan with members of the farming community and our Party’s Agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue TD.


“The final say on the next CAP funding will be made by the incoming European Parliament post May 26th. If fortunate to be elected to the Parliament I can assure the farmers whom I have met across Midlands-North-West that they will be represented in these debates with a strong Irish voice who understands the problems facing this sector who are under considerable income pressures at present.


“Yesterday at meetings with Members of the European Parliament and with Senior Commission Officials I outlined very clearly the absolute need to protect the CAP budget due to its critical importance not just to the farming community but to the entire rural economy” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith