Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, says the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme is too small to be attractive.

“The payment of €20 per cow with a maximum payment of €400 or 20 cows is too little money to make the new ‘Beef Data Programme’ attractive,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

“The money for the scheme is not coming from the exchequer and the Minister should have ensured that the €40 per cow grant was maintained and paid in 2013 and 2014.

“I am calling on Minister Coveney at this late stage to re-look at these measures and ensure that this important income source for farmers is protected which would in turn protect the quality of production.”  

Deputy Ó Cuív also accused Minster Coveney of targeting the Disadvantage Area Scheme (DAS).

“I am hugely concerned at the Minster targeting the Disadvantage Area Scheme (DAS) again for cutbacks. For a farmer with 34 hectares or more of land, they will be cut to the tune of €400 per hectare. This is cruel cut for farmers that farm on poor land. It is hard enough to farm the less favourable land without the security of the DAS being cut. I am, however, pleased that there has been no cuts for farmers living in mountain areas.”