Carthy welcomes Hogan U-Turn on Farm Safety Payments
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency, Matt Carthy, has stated that a Parliamentary Question response he has received from the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development indicates that the Commission does not intend to link Farmer’s Payments to farm safety measures.
“While I have huge concern at the number of farm safety related incidents in Ireland and am firmly of the view that much more must be done to address this issue in a comprehensive way, I am nonetheless pleased by the response received from Commissioner Hogan that indicates that the Commission does not intend to link farmer’s payments to farm safety measures.
“This is despite the fact that remarks made by Phil Hogan earlier this year suggested otherwise and caused significant concern among members of the farming community. I hope that these farmers will be reassured that
“There can be no doubt that action needs to be taken to ensure that appropriate health and safety procedures are followed to the greatest extent possible on our farms however we need to listen to farmers in this regard.
“Many farmers tell of the huge financial and time pressure that they are under in running busy farms with, in many cases, a diminishing income. Furthermore, research consistently points out the aging demographic of farmers and many have little or no assistance in running the farm.
“These are complex issues, which financial penalties will do little to resolve and I am glad that the Commissioner appears to recognise this fact.
“I have called for an increase in resources in order to address this problem in a real way, providing the supports and assistance to farmers to implement effective health and safety procedures on their farms.”
See Full Text of Parliamentary Question and Response
Question for written answer E-000851/2015
to the Commission
Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)
Subject: Farm safety
Further to remarks attributed to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, to the effect that direct payments to farmers may, at some point in the future, be linked to farm safety protocols, can the Commission address the following questions:
- Has the Commission carried out or commissioned a study or report into farm payments and safety protocols, or will it do so?
- Does the Commission have any views at this stage as to how farm safety protocols can be linked to farm payments and, if so, what are these views?
- Will the Commission be considering any options that reward, though grant assistance or any other measure, those farmers who have excellent farm safety protocols in place?
Answer given by Mr Hogan
on behalf of the Commission
Farm safety is of utmost importance for all people employed in the farming sector. The Commission is well aware of the fact that farm safety at holding level should be respected and that in some areas there might be room for improvement.
Within the CAP, several measures are set up aiming to improve the working environment, e.g. safety standards, at farm level. This can be done via a wide set of measures within the Rural Development programmes such as the knowledge transfer and information actions or through investment support. Furthermore Rural Development allows financing of Farm Advisory Services, which have a key role to play in providing relevant advice regarding occupational safety standards and safety standards linked to the farm, in particular for new entrants.
The Commission deems it sufficient to stimulate the improvement of farm safety via the above mentioned set of support measures.