Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley TD has called for Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments to be protected at this week’s extraordinary European Council budget talks.
Deputy Stanley was speaking following the release of leaked document which suggest that CAP could be facing a massive 19% cut in EU funding which is to facilitate extra military spending.
Deputy Stanley said:
“It is vital that we do not see any decrease in the CAP budget.
“The Irish government, in particular Minister Creed, need to go out and make a strong case for Irish farmers to ensure this does not happen.
“The news which has been leaked this week of a potential cut in funding of 14% to 19% would have a devastating impact for Irish farmers and rural Ireland.
“According to these documents, the CAP budget would lose 53.2 Billion over its 6-year programme.
“This will make many family farms unviable.
“We are already facing the crisis of Brexit and the myriad of issues which will need to be addressed.
“Irish farmers then need to contend with the EU-Mercosur trade deal and the constant demand to reduce the suckler herd.
“We have been very clear with regards to CAP. We need to restructure the payments to ensure that there is a CAP of
€60,000 and to use that money to increase payments for farmers on the lower end of the scale.
“What is worse is that we know that alongside this proposed decrease in CAP funding is the drive by certain EU countries to invest in an EU army, to invest in munitions and to further involve ourselves in the duties of NATO – this must be resisted at all costs.
“Ireland is a net contributor to the EU and as such we need to ensure that we use our voice at the CAP talks this week to reject any proposal to decrease CAP funding and the caretaker Fine Gael government must ensure this happens.”