Minister and IFA on collision course over suckler cash
'Blue murder brewing among beef farmers', warns Healy
IFA president Joe Healy and Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed are at loggerheads on finding a workable solution to the deepening income crisis in the beef sector.
While the IFA continue to demand increased direct supports for suckler producers of up to €200 per cow, Minister Creed has repeated his staunch opposition to this proposal based on funding concerns.
It is estimated that such a grant would cost an estimated €200m a year for the national herd.
Although the IFA claim the subsidy could be financed through a combination of CAP pillar one, pillar two and national funding, the farm organisation refuses to pinpoint exactly where cuts or reductions could be made in order to free up new cash-flow.
This lack of specific detail rankles with Minister Creed.
"Top slicing CAP and rural development options are two routes I am not prepared to go and I don't have €200m in Exchequer funding.
"I'm open to hearing more details of their proposal but as it stands, all our funding is committed," said Minister Creed.
In a statement to the Farming Independent, Joe Healy has hit back at the Minister's assessment of their proposal and challenges him to bring forward a solution. "IFA has a proposal for a €200 per suckler cow payment. The Minister has put nothing on the table. How exactly does he plan to address the chronic low-income situation facing livestock farmers?"