Friday 18 October 2019

Coveney insists he will not accept EU plan for €1.2bn of farmers grants

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

AGRICULTURE Minister Simon Coveney has insisted that he will not accept the EU Commission's latest plan to redistribute the €1.2bn paid in grants to Irish farmers.

He and the Irish Farmers Assocaition are opposed to the move under the revised Common Agricultural Policy budget to have a guaranteed minimum grant for every farmer. This would result in  smaller farmers gaining and bigger, more productive farmers taking cuts to their existing grants.

Mr Coveney said he believed the Commission's plan to give every farmer a minimum of 75pc of the average farm payment was "too high"' He said he was negotiating with the European Commission and the European Parliament "to find a compromise "that everybody can live with".

"This is about fairness for farmers. It's about ensuring we can keep a comopetitive agricutlural system across the European Union," he said.

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