ICMSA will oppose any cuts in SFP to fund a suckler cow scheme
The President of ICMSA, Jackie Cahill, has reacted swiftly to express his vehement opposition to the proposal, being widely reported in the farm press, that the Government intends to fund a suckler cow scheme through diversion of resources from existing Single Farm Payments. Mr Cahill promised that his association would oppose the proposal which he described as designed to set farmer against farmer.
“ICMSA is totally opposed to any cut in the SFP in order to co-fund any part of this scheme. Any attempt by the Government to do this will be seen for what it is: a cynical move to set farmer against farmer and to prepare the ground for some form of coupled payment under a new SFP regime planned to come into force from 2014. We oppose any move in this direction for these two irrefutable reasons: firstly, it means – because it has to mean – another reduction in the SFP received by the vast majority of farmers. Secondly, it re-introduces, in an underhand fashion, the possibility of a coupled payment that will benefit absolutely no-one other than the meat factories. Another question will occur to many farmers: under EU regulations, how can this proposed coupled payment be squared with the expressed and repeated projections for increased production in the cattle sector as outlined specifically in Food Harvest? On any sensible reading of EU regulations, coupled payments are only allowed where there is no increase in production. We await with great interest the explanations as to how that particular circle is to be squared”, said the ICMSA President.
“At a time when the focus must be negotiating to protect our national position inBrusselsand identifying and supporting those solid agri-related policies in our country, this is an opportunistic and devious attempt to pit farmer against farmer and will benefit farmers and the wider agri-sector by not one jot. ICMSA is happy to immediately put on the record our opposition to this shameless attempt to rob Peter – the active farmer – to pay Paul – the armchair man”, concluded the ICMSA President.
Ends 4 November.
Jackie Cahill, 087-2820663
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office