Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, says that conditions in applying for the Beef Emergency Measures Scheme (BEAM) should be relaxed otherwise many farmers will not benefit due to the stringent conditions in applying.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “Minister Creed must look again at the scheme terms and conditions to avoid the full funds not being drawn down. While the €50 million EU funding under the regulation is guaranteed, the fact that any underspend would mean the Government not having to fully follow through on their €50 million allocation will leave many farmers sceptical as to the reason behind the onerous terms and conditions for the scheme.
“The requirement on reducing stock rates by 5% by June 2021 will be a difficult target for farmers and should be removed. The government should have put up greater opposition to this in Brussels.
“I believe the Minister should look again at the terms and conditions of the Scheme and at a minimum, exempt holdings with less than 20 suckler cows or already low stocking rates from the stock reduction requirement.
“Beef farmers in Cavan-Monaghan have had to endure major difficulties with stock prices on the floor, lairage capacity limited early in this year, the Mercosur trade deal, and the calamity of a potential no deal Brexit.
“I am calling on the Minister for Agriculture to return to the conditions of the scheme and bring some fairness to the application process,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.