Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says farmers are extremely fearful of a cut in CAP funding following a proposal from the European Commission to reduce the CAP budget by 5%.

The Commission flagged the cut as part of the EU budget for 2021-2027.

Deputy Calleary commented, “CAP subsidies are an essential revenue stream for hundreds of farmers here in Mayo.  If you consider the fact that these payments make up 75% of total farm incomes, any cut in subsidy will have a huge impact on their viability.  Farm families are already under huge financial pressure – suckler beef and sheep farmers are living on an average income of under €13,000.

“Under the last Fine Gael led government, a cut of 10% under the 2014-2020 CAP deal was agreed and now we have another proposed 5% cut for the next budget term. This must be resisted by the government and like-minded Member States.

“The EC’s 5% cut could, in real terms, result in a cut of well over 15% for farmers, once inflation is taken into account.  Combine this with the 10% reduction under the previous budget and this is a huge blow for farm families.

“The €4bn hole in the CAP budget as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU must be plugged, and the remaining EU27 need to step up to the mark and make additional contributions to make up the shortfall.

“Farmers should not have to take the fall – the government needs to stand up for farm families and ensure measures are taken to address the budget shortfall and ensure that CAP levels are maintained”.