Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has expressed serious concern in relation to funding of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding post 2020 as the next round of funding is proposed to be cut by 5%.

Deputy Ó Cuív said “The Minister confirmed that the present proposals are for a 5% cut in the CAP budget in the next financial round of CAP that will run from 2021 – 2027. This does not take inflation into account, which means that the real cut in the budget could be as high as 20% for the next period.

“I believe that the simplest way of dealing with this issue is for the Government to make up the shortfall by increased co-funding of the Rural Development element of the Common Agricultural Policy that cover such schemes as Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS), the environmental scheme such as Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC), as well as non-farm rural development schemes.

“I will continue to press for reform of the basic payment and greening schemes. At the moment farmers are getting grants, based on the stocking density they had and the grants received in 2001. It is totally unacceptable that a grant scheme that would be running to 2027 would be based on things that happened so long ago.

“I believe that there should be a cap of €60,000 on both the basic payment scheme and the greening payment. In the forthcoming CAP there should be a total levelling off of payments per hectare, particularly taking into account the need for recognition to the high nature and high environmental value of farming in some of the less productive farming areas that are of high ecological value and the need to keep farmers in these areas, particularly along the west coast of Ireland.

“Changes are needed for the farming community. I will be continuing to press these matters with the Minister and will be pressing that any shortfall that arises in new funding will be made up by exchequer funding, as farmers need this money to make farming profitable in Ireland,” concluded Deputy Ó Cuív.