McAleer welcomes £300 million direct payments to farm businesses
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer MLA has welcomed the issuing of over £300 million direct payments to farm businesses this week but highlighted concerns for the future of farm support.
The party’s agriculture spokesperson said:
“The Single Farm Payment is essential for the survival of many farm businesses, accounting for around 90% of farm income.
“While I welcome the allocating of over £300 million this week, I have serious concern for future years and whether the British government will honour this financial support, now that we are out of the EU.
“The fact that there has been no progress on the ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund’ which was supposed to replace the lost EU funding, has done little to inspire confidence.
“In August the DAERA Minister published a future framework document outlining a vision for a new agriculture policy based around the broad themes of productivity, environmental sustainability, improved resilience and a responsive supply chain.
“The DAERA Minister needs to move swiftly to publish his policy proposals so that farmers can give their views on what these will mean for their businesses.
“I have met many farmers in recent weeks who have so many unanswered questions about the future of their entitlements and the shape of future farm support measures, and this uncertainty makes it incredibly difficult to plan ahead.”