Tue, 01 May 2018
EU - Ahead of Wednesday’s EU Commission’s proposals on the next EU Budget, IFA President Joe Healy said all Irish political representatives should row in strongly behind the campaign for an increase in the CAP Budget, which is crucial for the future of Irish farming.
“Supported by CAP, farmers have delivered tangible benefits for the EU and EU citizens. By contrast, CAP’s level of delivery for farmers has been declining as payments have been reduced under the various reforms and further eroded by inflation. Everybody else in society expects increases in line with inflation. It is entirely logical that farmers should be entitled to an increase too.”
“Given the importance of CAP to the Irish economy and to sustaining agriculture in rural Ireland, it is vital that farmers can rely on the backing of all Irish politicians as we enter a crucial phase in the effort to secure an increase in the CAP budget,” Mr Healy said.
The IFA President said that, contrary to recent comments by Commissioner Phil Hogan, the campaign for an increased CAP budget is entirely logical, “Member States have indicated they are willing to increase their contributions to the EU budget to plug the gap due to Brexit. Economic growth means the Gross National Income of Member States on which contributions are based has been increasing, which will also help to close the gap.
“The big question is, what portion of the overall EU budget will be allocated to the CAP. This will be a political decision of the Commission and the other EU institutions.”
Mr Healy re-iterated the point he made at the recent Civil Dialogue event in Kilkenny that farmers who have stayed loyal to the EU cannot be punished on the double because of Brexit.
He said efforts to soften up farmers for a cut in the CAP Budget should be resisted, not amplified.
“Some members of the EU Commission have been deliberately talking down the CAP budget with the full intent of diverting CAP funding for new policy initiatives including defence and migration. All political efforts must be made to resist these this and to argue strongly the merits of CAP and the need for an increase in the Budget.”
The IFA President also welcomed the move by FNSEA in France and DVB in Germany to appeal directly to President Macron and Chancellor Merkel on the CAP Budget.