Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the revised Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) budget proposal by the European Commission represents a positive step forward with an increased CAP budget for the 2021-2027 period.
The Fianna Fáil Cavan-Monaghan TD warned that this progress must now be built upon by Member States and the European Parliament and he emphasised that further increases in the proposed budget are essential.
Deputy Smith explained, “The European Commission’s original proposal two years ago was a slap in the face to hard working farmers and the vital role they play in maintaining food supply chains, contributing to food security and enhancing environmental outcomes. The importance of this role has been put front and centre during the global public health emergency.
“Total CAP funding in the latest proposal is €391 billion, with the rural development programme’s allocation strengthened by over €16b additionally through the Next Generation EU fund.
“Given that €381b was allocated to the CAP 2014-2020 programme, excluding the €27b assigned to the UK, the development is welcome and comes after a strong campaign by farming representative groups for increased CAP funds.
“However, the work must now continue to ensure the next CAP budget is fully funded to the maximum level to ensure farm incomes are safeguarded in the years ahead. For many beef farmers in the border region, with limited land holdings, the drop-in beef prices has made farming a difficult lifestyle and way to earn an income. The dairy and sheep sectors are also facing more difficulties and reduced income.
“Member States and the EU Parliament need to protect these farm incomes by ensuring the final agreement reached builds on the progress to date and delivers a well-funded and fairer CAP,” concluded Deputy Smith.