Just 3pc of Irish people think EU farm payments are too high - survey

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The majority of EU citizens think the financial support for farmers is just right or too low, and more than seven in ten want no change or to be increased over the next 10 years.

That’s according to a new Eurobaromater report which also shows that just 3pc of Irish people believe that financial supports to farmers funded by the Common Agricultural Policy are too high.

Compared to 2015, respondents are more likely to think the support is about right (+4 pp) and less likely to think it is too low (-3 pp) or too high (-2 pp).

The main reasons the EU spends a significant proportion of its budget on the CAP are: financial aid to farmers makes it possible to ensure sustainable farming (30pc), financial aid to farmers makes it possible to guarantee the food supply of Europeans, or that agriculture requires heavy human and financial investments (both 28pc).

More than four in ten respondents (44pc) want to see an increase in EU financial support to farmers over the next 10 years, 12pc want to see a decrease, while 29pc want no change.

Opinions vary widely between Member States.

The majority of respondents think it is justified to reduce subsidy payments to farmers who do not respect food safety standards (90pc), because environmental standards are not respected (88pc) or because animal welfare standards are not respected (88pc).

Almost nine in ten (88pc) are in favour of the EU making subsidy payments to farmers for farming practices that are beneficial to the climate and the environment.

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Meanwhile, EU respondents said the three main responsibilities of farmers are considered to be providing under CAP include safe, healthy food of high quality (55pc), ensuring the welfare of farmed animals (28pc), and protecting the environment and tackling climate change (25pc).

The majority are in favour of full compliance with EU quality and safety standards for agricultural imports, and consider trade agreements to be positive for EU agriculture and for them as a consumer.

Almost nine in ten (87pc) are in favour of agricultural imports from any origin only entering the EU if they fully comply with EU standards in terms of safety and quality.

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