Fianna Fail calls for farm buildings and GLAS monies to be redirected towards suckler cow payments
Creed says existing payments to suckler farmers already provide equivalent of €500/cow
Fianna Fail is to call for monies not yet spent under the TAMS and GLAS schemes to be redirected towards increased payments to suckler farmers.
Fianna Fáil Agriculture and Food Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue said his party is prioritising the suckler sector and over 75,000 farm families nationwide with a Dáil motion this coming Wednesday under private members time.
“In our motion, we also instruct the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to review the current underspend accruing across several Rural Development Programme (RDP) schemes and report back within two months to the Oireachtas on a roadmap towards targeting RDP underspend to suckler and other vulnerable sectors.
“The underspend in the Department of Agriculture soared to €186m over the last two years, while several 2014-2020 RDP schemes are on course to underspend significantly, such as GLAS and TAMS.
“The Government has refused at every avenue to look at all options to introduce a €200 payment per suckler cow. Fianna Fáil has championed this as a key policy and will continue to campaign for its delivery.
“Suckler farmers are being let down with the Government accepting at least 70,000 extra tonnes of South American Mercosur beef into the EU. The timing of this couldn’t be any worse for farmers with Brexit having the potential to place tariffs on half of all our beef exports.
McConalogue said suckler farmers underpin our €2.5 billion beef exports, they generate average incomes below €13,000 each year and are fully dependent on CAP supports to maintain their livelihoods.
“The suckler sector is facing threats on many fronts with successive Fine Gael led Governments found wanting."