'Mission impossible' to prevent cuts to farm payments, says EU budget Chief
Some Member States are looking for CAP budget to be cut by 30pc
European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said it is ‘mission impossible’ to prevent cuts to the next EU budget including payments to farmers.
He told Joint Committee of Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform that that the Brexit blackhole was at least €12 billion representing 7-8pc of the EU budget.
He informed Oireachtas members worried about cuts to farm payments that he has been in 18 other national parliaments that some are demanding 30pc cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy.
“I have to fight to get a decision by unanimity. It is not easy. You need majority here,” he said.
Commissioner Oettinger said his proposal was to fill the Brexit gap with a 50/50 split between increased contributions from member states and cuts to EU programs. He said his proposal was to reduce the CAP budget by 5-10pc.
Ireland is prepared to increase its contributions to the EU overall budget, if other countries do too and working programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is protected, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently said.
He said that the Irish Government is willing to consider an increase in its contribution to EU funds over the next five years, as long as well functioning programmes, such as the CAP.
Countries currently contribute to EU funds based on their Gross National Income (GNI) based on the size of their economy, which he said is fair.