Farmers being misled €50m beef fund must see production drop - McConalogue

Fianna Fail spokesman on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue
Fianna Fail spokesman on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Farmers misled by government that fund contingent on reducing production, according to Fianna Fail spokesperson on agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

He called on the Minister to immediately clarify when he first became aware that the €50m beef fund announced by the European Commission was contingent on production reduction.

“Farmers were clearly misled pre-election with the government message that the compensation package secured would be related to income and price losses incurred from the early onset of Brexit.

“However, the draft Commission regulation states that the ‘measures taken by Ireland shall be aimed at reducing production or restructuring the beef and veal sector’."

He also said the draft text  says that the Ireland does not qualify under Article 219 of the CAP CMO regulation which provides emergency funding for market disturbance caused by significant price rises or falls.

“I am calling on the Minister to immediately state when did he first learn that reducing production numbers would be a condition of drawing down funding? Did his Department make any case for market disturbance aid as provided under the CAP?

“The Minister is trying to wash his hands of any responsibility by saying the draft Regulation is ‘within the Commission’s own legal competence and is not for negotiation with Ireland or indeed other Member States’. This is a cop out from the Minister.

“Government have totally misled farmers who were informed at every juncture from the Taoiseach and Minister Creed that the fund would cover income losses.

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“The subterfuge was clearly a pre-election stunt and farmers who have taken a massive hit deserve better,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.

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