ICSA WELCOMES EU SUMMIT DECISION TO FINALLY APPROVE BUDGET

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11 DECEMBER 2020

ICSA president Edmond Phelan has welcomed the EU Summit decision to finally approve the EU budget for the next seven years after a logjam caused by disagreement from Poland and Hungary. “The decision to sanction the €1,074 billion multiannual financial framework (MFF) along with the Covid stimulus package, otherwise known as Next Generation EU (NGEU) is vital. The NGEU adds €750 billion to the MFF and every cent will be needed at a time of profound economic challenge.”

“From a farming perspective, it clears the way to move on with delivery of the next CAP. The logjam was beginning to cause a lot of concern about whether CAP funding and additional funds for Covid and Brexit could actually be delivered. ICSA welcomes the pragmatic decision of the EU Summit which was essential at a time of potential chaos due to the Brexit impasse.”

“ICSA will be arguing very strongly that CAP funds must be directed to the greatest extent to low income cattle, sheep and tillage farmers who are more than 100% dependent on direct payments for their income. It is now time to acknowledge that CAP funds must be balanced in favour of less intensive farmers given that this is the kernel of the so-called green architecture which underpins CAP funding for the next seven years.”

“It would be a complete contradiction in terms if the CAP programme is tweaked to allow significant payments to be diverted in a way which incentivises even more highly intensive farming systems. Further expansion in dairying should be funded by the marketplace. At the moment, Ireland’s milk price compares poorly with our western EU neighbours and this is not a problem that should be resolved by diverting more CAP funds from low income cattle and sheep farmers to expanding dairy farmers.”

ENDS