26th June, 2013
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin has welcomed agreement on CAP reform, which has been very difficult and led to a lot of uncertainty for farmers.
However, he said that the compromise remains far from ideal because it is linked to the original flawed concept of a flat rate payment. “ICSA is not happy to see cuts to payments for active farmers with modest payments but at least the more severe elements of the original plan have been watered down to the extent that some farmers will live with the compromises.”
“An average cut of 12% on top of 2% for young farmers, 3% for national reserve along with linear cuts and crisis fund cuts are too severe for many farmers but the original proposal for a flat rate would have meant cuts of 30-50% for many active farmers.”
He said that the 60% minimum payment will provide a welcome increase for some farmers but the fact that it seems likely that all landowners will qualify for a minimum payment of 60% of the average means that we are missing an opportunity for a really worthwhile increase to progressive and active farmers, which could have been achieved with greater targeting.”
“There is too much emphasis on levelling the field and not enough on helping those who want to help themselves. This CAP reform has been based on a flawed principle right from the start of moving all hectares to a flat rate. While we are not going to have a flat rate, the concept of a minimum of 60% for all hectares regardless of farming activity is still a flawed reform,” he added.
Mr Gilmartin concluded by thanking Minister Coveney and his officials for their hard work in limiting the worse impact of the original proposals.