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Hogan’s position on historical entitlement will “maintains gross inequalities in CAP” – Carthy

12 March, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy has said that the position of Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan, on historical entitlements serves only to maintain gross inequalities that exist in the CAP payment system. 

Last week, speaking from Valencia, Commissioner Hogan said ‘no proposals have been brought forward to alter existing allocations’ and ‘I don’t propose to make any [such] changes to entitlements’.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development, responded:

“It is beyond dispute that the current system is a source of inequality among farmers.  Maintaining the system will do nothing but encourage entitlement hording or drive up the prices for trading.

 “Many farmers will be disappointed to learn of Commissioner Hogan’s intention that the system of historic entitlement will be carried into CAP 2020.  The fear is that we are being walked into a future crises, focused on competition for access to entitlements.

“Of course, the biggest losers here will be young farmers.  This will send the wrong message to anyone think of entering the sector.

“Even more ridiculous is the intention to use the same reference years which, in some cases, date back almost two decades.

“There are students in agricultural colleges who were not even born during the years specified. How could this possibly be consistent with the objective of encouraging generational renewal?

“Whether Commissioner Hogan accepts it or not, the truth is that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, if we are to begin to reduce inequality between farmers.  

“Currently, the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee is reviewing a draft response to the Commission paper ‘The future of Food and Farming’ which was effectively the Commission setting out its stall for CAP 2020 changes.

“The draft EP response is critical of the historical entitlement system, as have other independent examinations, describing it as an obstacle to generational renewal. The report calls for it to be replaced by a new system, decided on at EU level.   

“It needs to be perfectly clear to Commissioner Hogan and the Commission that it will have done an injustice to the next generation by failing to act at this stage, knowingly enshrining an entitlement regime that is outdated and unfair”.

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