‘Pat Smith rewarded for unfavourable CAP deal for majority of farmers’

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association is calling on the IFA leadership to clarify their position on the outcome the last CAP deal.

This comes following the contents of a recent letter released by former IFA General Secretary Pat Smith where he clarified the €60,000 bonus he received in 2013 was for a successful outcome to this CAP deal.

A deal which the INHFA says will see a small redistribution of money to the farmers on the lowest payments many of whom are in western counties.

INHFA National Chair Vincent Roddy stated that the original proposal made by the commission on Pillar 1 funds would have seen a significant gain for farmers with low payments nationwide, with Connacht ,Donegal and Kerry gaining by over €100m per year.

“As a result of negotiations by the Irish Government and backed by the IFA these counties saw a minimal transfer of Pillar 1 CAP funds with the belief that most of the transfers in Pillar 1 was clawed back through the introduction of Pillar 2 Schemes that suited larger better off farmers.

“We have to ask who was this successful for, it certainly was not for the majority of farmers in Ireland,” he said.

According to Roddy the transfers to the lowest paid farmers only happened because the EU Commissioner insisted on a minimum payment.

“Even now, attempts are still ongoing to reduce the impact of these transfers by making as much of this land as possible ineligible, thus reducing the need for transfers.

“One lot of facts used to justify a minimal redistribution of payments was the productive farmer debate.

“We have since discovered that these points were inaccurate and flawed and I now challenge the IFA leadership to reopen this debate,” he said.

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