‘EU wants farmers to jump through hoops’ for funding – Lowry

Independent TD Michael Lowry has said that the “EU wants farmers to jump through hoops” for funding under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Tipperary TD has supported the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA) request for “increased co-financing” for CAP.

Deputy Lowry said that decisions taken at the recent summit of EU leaders in Brussels will “result in farmers having to do more to maintain their farm payments, including joining schemes focused on climate and the environment”.

‘Farmers to jump through hoops’

Lowry said he will be “strongly supportive” of the IFA’s request, saying that increased co-financing will be “crucial for farmers”.

“EU leaders agreed changes to how the funding can be drawn down in the future, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin claiming that Irish farmers would have a bigger pot of money available for farm schemes,” according to deputy Lowry.

“However, the IFA…rejected this, saying that despite the spin, there is not enough money in Pillar I to even maintain the basic payment, and, while Pillar II is up, the EU will want farmers to jump through hoops for this.

“From an Irish perspective, while our share of the CAP budget for the next seven years is [estimated at] €10.73 billion, which is up €50 million on the last CAP, farmers will face big changes in the way in which they can draw down CAP funding,” deputy Lowry said.

“The Pillar I pot for direct payments will be smaller while Pillar II funding is up – but this amount has to be matched by funding from Ireland, meaning that the government will have to provide increased co-financing,” Lowry concluded.