‘Government adopting a position in CAP talks that runs against the interests of the majority of farmers’
Sligo News File
The government is refusing to take a position on the Common Agriculture Policy which would ensure bigger payments to Irish farms, a TD has claimed
During Thursday’s Leaders Questions in the Dail, Deputy Matt Carthy said a flat rate payment per hectare process known as convergence to which most EU countries have moved “would benefit the majority of farmers in Ireland.
“A total of 60% of Irish farms would get more.”
He asked the Tanaiste Leo Varadkar: “Why is the Government adopting a position in the CAP talks that runs against the interests of the majority of farmers?
“Why is it fighting against a front-loaded payment that would benefit smaller farmers?
“Why is it resisting an upper payment limit that would stop the obscenities whereby beef barons and sheiks receive hundreds of thousands of euro each year in CAP payments while most farmers struggle to survive?”
Carty said that when he was in opposition, the minister McConologue “demanded increased fairness even during the transition period. In power, he is delaying the entire CAP process and fighting against any measure of fairness.
“Whose interests is the Government serving in these CAP talks?” he pressed.
Varadkar: “The Government serves the interests of Irish farmers and Irish farm families in these talks and of course this is what we will do. We want to see more food production. We want to see farm income rise. We also want to make sure we have a Common Agriculture Policy that aligns with our climate objectives, which is crucial too.
“Currently, the Minister, Deputy McConalogue, is engaged in the negotiations and I would not like to comment on them in too much detail. The Deputy knows there has been convergence in recent years and this is the direction of travel. It does have consequences and there are winners and losers, and the losers are not all sheiks and beef barons. They are also family farms.
“There are parts of the country that may benefit and there are parts that will lose out. We have to look at all of these in the round,” he added