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Friday 19 January 2018

Farming subsidies for the chop as Brexit cash crisis hits EU

Financial black hole means there will be cuts to CAP payments

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has warned spending cuts are coming across the board to deal with the Brexit black hole. Getty/Stock Image
EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has warned spending cuts are coming across the board to deal with the Brexit black hole. Getty/Stock Image

Sarah Collins and Louise Hogan

Farm subsidies face being chopped as Brexit hammers the EU coffers, with the Government being asked to find extra funds to make up the shortfall.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has warned spending cuts are coming across the board to deal with the Brexit black hole.

This will include reductions to the common agricultural policy (CAP), which eats up 40pc of the bloc's budget. But Irish Farmers' Association chief Joe Healy said an "increased CAP budget is required" to deliver on the EU's economic, social and environmental goals.

Teagasc statistics show the average direct payment per farm was nearly €18,000 in 2016. This accounted for three-quarters of farm income on average, and almost 100pc of income on cattle and sheep farms.

The EU is only now planning its future seven-year budget, its first without the UK involved. Britain contributes €10bn-€12bn more per year than it gets out, meaning its departure from the EU will leave a gaping financial hole.


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