Fianna Fail and Fine Gael can no longer sit on the fence in ANC Review – Conway-Walsh
Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh this week reasserted Sinn Féin's call for a review of the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments to be used as an opportunity to address the inequality in farm payments.
Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Conway-Walsh said:
“As an immediate measure, Sinn Féin is asking the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to allocate the additional €25 million to farmers farming mountain grazing land. We have also asked for the underspend in other schemes to be used to increase the ANC Scheme.
“This EU review presents a very important opportunity for the government to adjust payment to reflect the degree of constraint faced by farmers to help those who are struggling to make a living on marginalised land and mountain grazing.
“This will address the rampant inequality that exists in farm incomes across Ireland.
“I am perplexed as to why Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been unable to support the motion presented by Sinn Féin three times to retain mountain grazing as a separate category.
“There is no technical or legal reason why mountain grazing land cannot be recognised as a specific constraint.
“The motion also calls for payments to reflect both the multiple bio-physical and specific constraints experienced by farmers who farm mountain type land and for those payments to be set at a similar rate to the current offshore islands rate.”