The existing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for farmers is going to rollover for a period of 12 months. Systems within the various departments are being prepared as quickly as possible to ensure that payments can continue to be made.

Ireland is willing to pay more to support projects that are really important – including CAP.

Ireland is making this commitment from its position as one of the highest per capita net contributors in the entire EU.

This is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, who was responding to questions on the matter that were put to him by Fianna Fáil’s deputy Brendan Smith during Dáil proceedings earlier this week.

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Smith – who pointed out that “it is not acceptable that a greater onus is being placed on farmers to do more for less money – asked the minister if he thought that an urgency is being attached to finalising the budget by the end of the year?

He also asked what the outlook is at present and what the likely timescale for the completion of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) level of funding and the CAP budget is.

Fair is fair

Minister Creed, meanwhile, said that as far as Ireland was concerned “it is not simply a case of calling for more money”.

We put more into the EU than we get out of it – much of what we get out of it comes through CAP.

He continued: “I agree strongly with the deputy’s point that farmers are being asked to do more and more.

“It appears that almost on a daily basis, nearly every one of this country’s five million citizens tells farmers what they should do and how they should do it.

“Farmers seem to be admonished if they do not do things to the highest standard.

It is the same right across Europe where every day of the week 450 million citizens seem to tell farmers what to do.

“We need to be careful not to have a kickback against that. Farmers are operating to very high standards by international and global comparison.

“If we are asking them to do more, we need to give them the necessary resources to help them to do more.”