March 24, 2022
‘Commission’s response will buy time but will not solve the crisis in Agri-Markets’ – Chris MacManus MEP

‘Commission’s response will buy time but will not solve the crisis in Agri-Markets’ – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus believes the European Commission’s communication on how to guarantee EU food security is to be welcomed but is not going to fix the crisis in agri-markets. MacManus, speaking from Brussels, commented:

‘The Commission’s proposals will give us a bit of breathing space but the situation must be continuously monitored. It is worth noting that one of the big-ticket items on the table is deployment of the crisis reserve. Sinn Féin called for its deployment because we need to get cash into farmer’s pockets now but let us not begin believing that this a gift of new money from Brussels.”

‘The crisis reserve, which is in the region of €500m, is filled each year by deducting money that is already part of the CAP budget for farmers. If this money is not used in a crisis it is then returned to farmers at the end of the year. People will remember the annual reports in the agri media of the money being refunded to farmers.”

‘So what the Commission has announced is allowing farmers faster access to what is already their own money to get themselves through the current crisis. Brussels has not actually loosened its purse strings one bit.”

“Sinn Féin believes the Commission must look at all avenues to put more money into farmer’s pockets. If they get the timing wrong, the damage to our primary producers may be irreversible.”

“In Ireland, my colleague, Deputy Matt Carthy has called on the Government to take full advantage of state aid relaxations, utilise the Brexit Adjustment fund and review taxation measures.”

“People must remember that the abandonment of the agricultural sector in times of crisis would send a ripple through not only the farming community but also rural Ireland and at every dinner table in the country. Farmers, workers, the elderly and our young people must be protected.” ENDS