IFA and Minister bid to halt O Cuiv on CAP reforms
IFA top brass met with Fianna Fail leadership in recent weeks in an attempt to prevent Eamon O Cuiv from pursuing his alternative proposals on CAP reform.
The Fianna Fail agriculture spokesman has floated a number of proposals that fly in the face of the stance that has been adopted by the IFA and the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.
They include a cap of €50,000-60,000 on the total amount that any farmer could receive in a Single Farm Payment (SFP), along with new maximum and minimum amounts that would be payable per hectare.
Deputy O Cuiv admitted that a delegation from the IFA had expressed concerns about the ideas he was promoting to a number of key Fianna Fail party TDs.
"However, when I explained at a subsequent parliamentary meeting what I was attempting to achieve, I received a lot of support from my party colleagues to continue on this path," said Mr O Cuiv.
"This isn't about pitching east versus west, because there are marginal areas in every county in the country. 46pc of the Disadvantaged Area payments go to farmers in Leinster and Munster.
"But farmers in these areas rely heavily on Pillar II supports, and if these supports bear the brunt of the cuts in the upcoming EU budgetary negotiations, then these farmers must have greater access to Pillar I supports such as the Single Farm Payment," he said.
However, in response to Deputy O Cuiv's proposals for new mandatory caps on payments per hectare and per farm, Minister Simon Coveney said that Pillar I payments were never meant to be a social welfare scheme.