Matt Carthy MEP slams 2021 CAP cut proposal
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has hit out at European Commission proposals to slash the CAP budget in 2021.
Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, has called on the Irish Government to reject this move and to clarify that it will not support any EU long term budget proposal that includes a reduced provision for the Common Agriculture Policy.
“The European Commission is proposing that the current CAP roll over until 2022 but with a reduced budget in line with their stated long-term proposals.
“This is unacceptable. The Commission is attempting to use the transition period to clear the ground for long term cuts to direct payments and rural development schemes. Essentially, they suggest a continuation of the current CAP programme for an extra year but with the budgetary reductions they are proposing for the next CAP programming period of 2021-2027.
“This will see Irish Farmers lose €97 million in payments and will impact severely on the rural communities that depend on them. Every farm family will be affected and every rural community will pay the price.
“This proposal must be rejected by the Irish government. This is currently only a draft proposal but it will become a reality very quickly if the Irish Government fail to apply sufficient pressure in the European Council.
“This is labelled as a transition budget but it actually means that farmers will be punished one year earlier than expected.
“Leo Varadkar previously committed to the EU that Ireland would increase payments to the next European budget; he did this without securing any guarantee on the programmes that are essential for Ireland such as the CAP. The Commission in return proposed an increased overall EU budget for the period 2021-2027 but with a 15% cut to CAP in order to allow for massive increases in military expenditure.
“The Irish government must reject this transition budget proposed and clarify that it will reject any long term budget proposal from the EU that fails to include an increase in the CAP budget.
“Anything less will be a devastating sell-out of our rural communities and will be resisted by Sinn Féin”.