CAP cuts should be taken seriously - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Kenny TD has said that the statements of the EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, that there will be cuts to the next CAP budget should be taken very seriously by Irish farmers, farm organisations and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Deputy Kenny said:
“Indications from the Commissioner that cuts of between five and ten percent to the Common Agriculture Policy budget are very worrying for Irish agriculture.
“Sinn Féin has repeatedly said that the sustainability of the family farm should be key to this state’s agricultural policy, but successive governments have been content to allow a dependence on subsidy from the EU to develop.
"What is needed is proper planning for sustainability of the family farm and the achievement of fair prices for what is exceptional farm produce coming out of Ireland.
“CAP and all its schemes and programmes has changed the nature of Irish farming and introduced a dependence on it. A progressive government should be thinking ahead and planning for the future of Irish agriculture, not just looking as far as the next election.
“But for now, it is clear that a cut to Basic Farm Payments would mean that smaller farmers would go to the wall. If there is to be a cut in CAP budgets, the government must defend those who are already on low incomes and cannot sustain cuts.
“The Irish government and Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, must defend Irish agriculture and emphasise to our EU partners the importance of it to Ireland.
"The social fabric of our nation is enmeshed with farming and it cannot be destroyed by these cuts. It is clear that an exception has to be made in the context of Brexit and its impact on the markets for our farm produce.”