IFA question motivations of Government on beef support scheme

Joe Healy
Joe Healy
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Applications worth less than €80m have been received for the €100m Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) announced by the Government in advance of Local and European Elections earlier this year.

IFA President Joe Healy said Minister Creed has to revise the conditions of the scheme and re-open it.

“€50m of the funding for this scheme came from the EU with a further €50m allegedly ‘committed’ by the Irish Government. Real questions now have to be asked as whether the Government genuinely intended to spend this amount of funding at all,” he said.

“Right from the start, we were clear that the way the Minister devised this scheme would result in an underspend. Now it has been confirmed that at least €20m will be left behind with further applications likely to be withdrawn due to unnecessary restrictions,” he said.

“This is a spectacular own goal by the Minister. Commissioner Hogan secured €50m for Irish farmers from the Commission and the Government promised to match it. They must make good on this promise,” he said.

BEAM is funded by a combination of EU exceptional aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty.

Under the scheme, aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between September 24, 2018, and May 12, 2019, at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd. Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 sucklers per herd.

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