Taoiseach confirms backing of €50 million Government beef funding

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has today, Tuesday, May 21, confirmed that the Government will back €50 million in “very much needed” funding to support Irish beef farmers.

The move follows the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan’s agreement – revealed last Wednesday by AgriLand – to fund €50 million of the aid package while recommending that the Irish Government funds an equal amount –  bringing the total amount to €100 million.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann today, the leader of Fine Gael said: “We will of course have to provide matching funding.”

Also Read: €100 million support fund for beef farmers ‘secured in Brussels’

However, Taoiseach Varadkar explained: “We still yet don’t have the terms and conditions from the commission on the exact detail on how that scheme is going to work.”

The Taoiseach confirmed the funding in response to a question from Fianna Fáil’s deputy Eugene Murphy.

Deputy Murphy welcomed the funding but sought “a clear statement that the Government will give €50 million to support the €50 million from the EU.”

Continuing, Taoiseach Varadkar said: “The Government of course joins with you in welcoming the announcement from the commission that €50 million in exceptional aid is being provided to beef farmers who very much need it, given the collapse in beef prices in recent months.”

AgriLand understands that the package will be co-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – which will fund €15 million – and the Department of Finance – which will fund the remaining €35 million.

Concluding, the Taoiseach confirmed: “As soon as we get the commission’s terms and conditions, we will be able to develop a scheme and ensure that farmers get the money that they need as soon as possible.”