Move towards CAP equality is welcome - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesman, Martin Kenny TD today welcomed the move towards equality of farm payments in an EU vote on the Common Agricultural Policy.
Speaking about the CAP post-2020 vote on the EU’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Deputy Kenny said:
“The system of farm payments has been based on historical entitlements, serving to preserve inequality and meaning that some farmers received more per hectare than others.
“There are still farms in Ireland receiving as little as €230 per hectare, while others are getting right up to €700 per hectare.
"The vote, which took place today, means that the disparity will be lessened and calls for full convergence of payments before 2026.
“There is a long way to go towards full convergence and full equality, but this is a start and will benefit those on the lowest payments.
"For some this could be the difference between surviving as farmers or not.
“Sinn Féin’s MEP, Matt Carthy, has supported an upper limit of €60,000 for basic payments, with farmers having the option of topping up their payments through participation in environmental schemes.
"This would allow for front loaded payments that would offer additional support proportionally for smaller and medium sized farms.
“In today’s vote, Fine Gael’s political group significantly weakened this ambition so that direct payments will be capped at €100,000, with loopholes that will allow payments even above this limit.
“It is near the end of this parliamentary term and the implementation of the 2020-2027 programme will fall to the parliament elected in May.
"It is vital that Ireland is represented by progressive MEP's who will demand fairness and equality for our farmers.
“The challenge now rests with the Irish government to protect the family farm and the agricultural sector as more autonomy will be given to members states in the application of the new CAP."