“Fine Gael complicit in EU’s decimation of Irish Farming” – Chris MacManus MEP
Following EU Commission President’s Ursula Von der Leyen’s address today to the Parliament, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, a member of the EU Parliament’s Agricultural Committee, has said the Commission’s proposals still represents a cut to CAP and shows farmers are not the priority of the European Commission.
“The size and severity of the cuts has been slightly reduced from what the Commission announced in 2018. However, given the impact Covid19 has had on the agricultural sector this will provide little comfort to our farmers.
“I have contacted the Commission for the percentage figures of the cuts in both real and nominal terms. Our initial analysis has it coming to an approximate 9 percent cut in real terms to CAP. That is still a substantial cut, and will be felt acutely by farmers at this time.
The Midlands Northwest MEP called on the current caretaker government to stand up for farmers: “The proposed cuts are to start in 2021 and will become more severe year-on-year. We saw when the original proposal was made in 2018 that the Commission and Fine Gael tried to portray the cuts at only 3 percent when they were in fact 15 percent.
“The Government needs to come out and unequivocally say that they will not support a budget that cuts CAP. It is unacceptable that with a drastically increased EU budget, farmers will still come out with less. By hiding on this issue, Fine Gael are complicit in the EU’s decimation of Irish Farmers”“
The Sligo based MEP concluded “Of the EUR 750 billion being borrowed by the Commission to finance the Recovery Fund only 2 percent of it is being directed to agriculture – far less than the cuts proposed in the traditional budget lines. More will be spent servicing the debt than will be received by farmers.
“That means that once the cuts to the budget, even including the additional monies from the recovery fund, are examined it suggests as a 9 percent cut to CAP overall, specifically a 9.5 percent cut from the direct payments as issued by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund and a 7.5 percent cut from Rural Development”.