Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith is warning Minister Michael Creed that any cut to the CAP budget will have a devastating impact on small family farmers. Budget discussions are due to begin shortly to address the expected shortfall arising out of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Deputy Smith raised the issue with the Agriculture Minister in the Dáil earlier this week.
“CAP payments are critical to the livelihoods of hundreds of farmers across Cavan, Monaghan and the wider rural community. This funding is support our agrifood sector and is a key driver of economic activity throughout the country.
“We need to get the message out that CAP is not just critical for farmers but that it is good for consumers and the environment as well. We want to get away from the lazy narrative that CAP is a transfer of funds to farmers. It is not. It is of huge importance for the environment, for consumers and for the agrifood industry.
“Any reduction in the CAP budget would have serious implications for Irish farmers. It’s expected that Brexit will result in a €3bn shortfall once the UK stops paying into the fund. That money must be replenished. Extra funding must be raised through additional payments by the remaining 27 EU countries.
“CAP is critically important to ensure the secure supply of safe food for citizens across Europe. Despite its success, funding in recent years has been reduced. We cannot allow that to happen again. Minister Creed has a responsibility to protect Irish farmers – he will have to work even harder to build stronger alliances to secure additional funding from our European counterparts”.