Anderson MEP meets UFU on CAP Budget
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson met with representatives of the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) this afternoon, Monday 7thJanuary to discuss how best to ensure the maintenance of the CAP Budgets and the need for a fairer share of Pillar 1 (Single Farm Payment) and Pillar 2 (rural development programme).
Martina Anderson said:
“In the lead up to Christmas there were 8000 proposed amendments to the CAP Budget which was reduced down to 100 compromise amendments which the committee will vote on this month.
“There is concern within the agriculture sector which I share that the 10,000 landowners who receive Single Farm payments – totalling £16million could remain in the system while proposed changes will prevent other land owners entering the system. I agree that funding should be made based on historical production links as opposed to historical claim links so that land owners who are not active farmers do not receive funding that should be going to working farmers.
“There needs to be provision for optional historic production links as well as historical single farm payment entitlement claims to ensure a fairer distribution of available funding. I will be working to achieve this outcome.
“Agreement on the CAP budget needs to be achieved by June if the policy is to be operational by 2014. However the opposing positions are so far apart that it is unlikely to make the deadline and whilst the consequences will result in Pillar 1 continuing during a transitional year, the likely effect will be that the 2014 budget will be trimmed with a proportionate cut on each farmer’s direct payment. We must work to avoid this outcome.”