EU aid payments to issue to dairy farmers in next six weeks – Coveney

Payments from the EU aid package to dairy farmers will happen in the next six weeks, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has said.

The Minister was responding to questions in the Dail from Fianna Fail Agriculture spokesperson Eamon O Cuiv.

The Minister also said that the Department of Agriculture is looking at a flat payment for farmers.

“I’m not going to pay farmers on the basis on the amount of milk they produce and therefore, give larger farmers more money.

“I don’t think that’s where the need is. Most farmers regardless of size will be getting similar payments,” he said.

On the issue of top-ups for younger farmers the Minister said that they haven’t decided yet what the top-up will be for young farmers, but that he’d certainly like some top-up for young farmers.

“It might not be a full 20 or 25% but I’d like to give some recognition of that,” he said.

The Minister said that he wasn’t sure that the same approach will be taken with pig farmers as was with dairy farmers.

“I need to speak to the sector. Certainly pig farmers are under pressure as well but they’re a different structure to dairy farmers,” he said.

The Minister could not confirm whether or not the Government Exchequer will be co-financing the EU aid package.

“The amount of money can’t be confirmed or finalised by me, until we have finality as to whether the Exchequer will match the European money or not,” he said.