Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food Charlie McConalogue says he is appalled that Minister Creed has totally ignored a Dail Éireann motion calling for greater supports for the suckler sector.

The Dáil successfully passed a Fianna Fáil private members’ motion on the subject on 21st February 2018.

The motion called on the Government “to review the current underspend accruing across several 2014-2020 RDP schemes and report back within two months to the Oireachtas on a roadmap towards targeting RDP underspend to suckler and other vulnerable sectors”.

Deputy McConalogue explained, “Our motion presented the Minister with two months to devise a plan to use the huge underspend within his Department to help support the suckler cow sector.  Not only have three months passed without any such plan being forthcoming, he has also failed to provide any data relating to participation and expenditure targets for six schemes over the 2014-2020 RDP window.

“I wrote to the Minister earlier this month on the matter and am extremely disappointed that he is continuing to flagrantly ignore the will of the Dáil.

“Based on his replies, which omit any data relating to 2014-2020 RDP funds, it is unclear if all of the 2014-2020 RDP funding will be spent within the specific timeframe.  It appears that Fine Gael made promises while launching these RDP schemes that it is now unable to deliver on.

“€1.4bn was allocated to GLAS and was due to be spent over the 7 year period.  However, Fianna Fáil has exposed the fact that farmers will miss out on more than €400m worth of payments over that same timeframe.

“Given the existential threats of Brexit and any Mercosur deal on suckler farmers’ incomes, all RDP money needs to be spent in the current window.

“It is extremely frustrating that the will of the House is being completely ignored. Considering this, I have written to the Ceann Comhairle to contact the Minister and ask for the review in question to be presented to the Dáil at the earliest date.

“I have also secured agreement from the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee for the Minister to appear before it to account for his failures on this issue and to question him on his government’s failure to deliver on its funding commitments to farmers”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.