Carthy criticises Minister for Agriculture and EU Commission on lack of progress for farmers in crisis
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has criticised the lack of progress and joined up thinking by the European Commission and the Irish Minister for Agriculture to deal with challenges facing farmers.
Speaking at a hearing with Commissioner Hogan in the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development today, Wednesday, Mr Carthy said:
“The European Commission has confirmed to me that despite Minister Creed claiming his hands are tied with regard to emergency funding, state aid for tillage farmers is an option for Member States. While it is clear that the Commission is willing to ignore farmers that have suffered severe crop loss in countries such as Ireland, our Minister Creed is doing little more to rectify this by putting the blame on other EU Agriculture Ministers.
With 4,500hectares of spring cereals yet to be harvested on 370 farms, and massively reduced yields predicted, it is unacceptable that the Minister isn’t more assertive in seeking a solution among his European counterparts.
“This problem of ineffective communication doesn’t just lie between our Minister and the Commissioner, but also within the Commission which continues to hobble on with its unfocussed an ineffective policy responses.
“Last month we had the opening of the voluntary milk reduction scheme, which while welcome, failed to include any impact assessment on the beef market; this week we see a series of so-called simplification measures presented through the so-called Omnibus Regulation in the Budgetary Committee, without any reasoning as to why the four main CAP Acts aren’t being addressed directly. It is a bizarre scenario.
“Commissioner Hogan has for months claimed that certain policy initiatives were not available to him in terms of the dairy income crisis because the 4 basic CAP Acts could not be changed. Today he has presented a series of changes to those very same acts and there are attempts to by-pass the Agriculture Committee in the European Parliament.
“I will continue to put pressure on both the Commissioner and the Minister to provide emergency assistance to tillage farmers and seek coherence from the Commission on these important issues”.