Taoiseach must stand firm in opposition to EU budget cuts

22nd November, 2012

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has urged the Taoiseach to stand firm in his opposition to cuts to Ireland’s CAP allocation during EU budget negotiations.  

ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin made the call on day one of the meeting of EU leaders to thrash out a framework for the EU budget from 2014 onwards.  “The Common Agricultural Policy currently injects €1.6 billion euro a year into the Irish economy through the Single Farm Payment.  It is absolutely crucial that this is maintained and Enda Kenny must be clear that this is a red line issue as far as Ireland is concerned.”

Mr. Gilmartin called for the complete rejection of proposals by European Council president Herman Von Rompuy to cut the overall budget by around €80 billion, including a €25 billion reduction in agriculture and rural development spending.  “The Taoiseach must make every effort to resist these cuts.  Agriculture in Ireland has huge potential for growth and job creation, and ambitious expansion targets have been set by Food Harvest 2020.  All of this potential would be severely compromised if our CAP allocation is not maintained at the same level in this budget.”

“Ultimately, every Irish consumer benefits from a well-supported farming sector, and ICSA has made it clear that the Taoiseach must defend our CAP funding in the strongest terms to ensure Irish agriculture’s continued viability.”