EU budget cuts and CAP top agenda at NIAPA meeting
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson held important discussions with NIAPA at their Cookstown headquarters on Monday 11th February to discuss the association's response to CAP proposals. They also discussed the impact of any proposed EU budget cuts on farm families and rural communities as well as producer concerns arising from the horse meat scandal.
Earlier in the day Ms Anderson met with the Rural Community Network to discuss anti-poverty initiatives and opportunities for assisting SMEs.
Following the meetings Martina Anderson said:
“I listened to the concerns from both organisations about local farming and fishing industries as well as rural communities which I explained resulted largely as a result of the European Council pandering to the demands from British Tory leader, David Cameron for EU budget cuts.
“These cuts if implemented will see the Sustainable Growth: Natural Resources budget heading which covers agriculture, rural development and fisheries cut by €47.5 billion. Cuts which I will vigorously resist when the EU budget makes its way to the Parliament for consideration as part of the co-decision making process.
The Sinn Féin MEP also pointed out her concerns that:
"Current CAP proposals will see the capping of the direct payments for large beneficiaries introduced by Member States on a voluntary basis and that how this is implemented will be extremely important.
“NIAPA's response to CAP proposals highlight concerns about the redistribution of Single Farm Payment with reference being made to the potential impact on food security, environment, contribution to employment, contribution to communities, investment in infrastructure, retention of family farms and levels of agricultural activity.
“I listened intently to the concerns of both NIAPA and the Rural Community Network and will be conveying them to my colleagues in Europe when these proposals come to the Parliament for deliberation.” ENDS