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Anderson criticises Dodds and Nicholson vote for EU Budget cuts

14 March, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Speaking from Brussels following the vote which rejected the European Council’s Budget proposals Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson said:

“I welcome the fact that the proposals put forward by the European Council on the Multi- Annual Financial Framework (MFF) - have been overwhelmingly rejected by the Parliament.

“Despite the harsh impact that these cuts contained in the proposals would have had on projects across the board – not least in the agriculture sector – DUP, MEP Diane Dodds in line with her Party MP’s in Westminster voted in favour of the proposals. Her fellow Unionist MEP, Jim Nicholson true to his Party’s support for the Tory austerity policies also voted in favour of cutting the EU Budget.

“If these budget proposals had passed there would have been severe cuts to the tune of 20% in CAP Funding, representing over €100 million. Structural funds would have suffered at a rate of 43% - representing over €200 million. And Peace 4 funding would have been greatly reduced from previous levels. These are just some of the major cuts that Dianne Dodds and Jim Nicholson support.

“The Irish Farmers Association in the south has joined its counterparts in the north in expressing alarm at the effect on agriculture that the proposed measures if introduced in CAP Reform would have on the sector. Dianne Dodds and Jim Nicholson need to explain to the electorate and in particular the Agri sector their rationale for supporting these cuts.

“As negotiations on the reform of the single farm payment enter a crucial phase, there is an intense and widespread debate in the farming community.

“What is needed is a fair and equitable proposal for the future of CAP. It is also vital that a viable scheme is introduced to aid future development of the sector.

 “I am however heartened to see that  most of the other Irish MEPs voted in favour of the resolution to reject the Budget proposals or abstained (Pat ‘the Cope’Gallagher (Fianna Fáil) and Marian Harkin (Ind) abstained while  Fine Gael, Labour, Socialist Party and Sinn Féin all voted to reject.

“I hope that the Coalition Partners in Dublin – Fine Gael and Labour – take heed of their MEP’s action in rejecting further austerity measures in Europe and step back from their continued attacks on the living standards of the Irish people at home.”

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