Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has expressed his disappointment at the unfair nature of yesterday’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allocation announcement, which will last up to 2020.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “The allocation of €10.7bn from the EU for the agriculture sector here is welcome but it is below what was targeted originally. It is also disappointing that the Government could only provide €1.9bn until 2020 for one of the most important industries in the economy. In fact, the Government has failed to live up to its promise of 50/50 CAP co-financing leaving Irish agriculture with a €300m shortfall.

“Under the CAP agreement negotiated by this Government, Pillar II payments are down 23 per cent and Pillar I payments are down 10 per cent taking inflation into account

“With reduced resources available, I believe the way CAP is being applied is inherently unfair and is not based on objective criteria. The Government proposals favour farmers that historically received the highest grants in 2000, 2001 and 2002 irrespective of current farm output. We need a fair deal for family farms but the proposals fall short of that.

“The Pillar II proposals effectively mean a halving of REPs payments compared to REP4 and this will lead to severe hardship for environmentally friendly farmers throughout the country.

It is understood Fianna Fáil will be making counter proposals over the coming days.

“It is my intention in the coming weeks to organise public meetings throughout the country outlining our alternatives and seeking support for them.”