The President of ICMSA, John Comer, has repeated, emphatically, his association’s opposition to any coupled payment that will involve a redistribution of existing budgets. Mr Comer said that there was no basis in logic, fairness or agri-economic potential for introducing such a payment and he said that the idea of a coupled payment as presently envisaged seemed to be designed as some kind of ‘sop’ to placate certain groups who thought themselves entitled to a higher SFPs and had been disappointed by the outline agreement
“A coupled payment along the lines suggested will involve cuts of up to 15% in all farmers’ payments to fund it; that is simply the fact of the matter. That’s how it will work and that’s how it’s intended to work. ICMSA repeats its complete opposition to any such move and trusts that Minister Coveney, and all those with an interest in moving Irish farming forwards, will see that every sensible item outlined in Food Harvest is premised on the idea of the state supporting the active farm family. How can we make the necessary commitment to that group if we are now talking about diverting millions to certain sectors because they feel particularly hard-done-by in terms of the recent agreement – and have been encouraged to think that way by for political reasons? ICMSA will resist any diversion of up to 15% of farmers’ payments into the funding of this unnecessary coupled payment”, said Mr Comer.
Ends 8 April 2013.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office