The President of ICMSA has described the comments made by EU Commissioner Oettinger to the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday on the possibility of cuts to the CAP Budget as “ominous and extremely threatening to the economic structure of rural Ireland”.
Mr. Pat McCormack said that the Commissioner’s remarks to the Committee in which he raised the possibility of a cut of between five per cent and 10 per cent for both CAP and the Cohesion Funds highlighted the need for the Government to signal immediately and with as much emphasis as is required that Ireland will not accept a reduced CAP budget and will push for the remaining 27 Member States to increase individual contributions to cover the reduction arising from Brexit.
Mr. McCormack said that the EU’s default reaction to any challenge seemed to involve cutting CAP and damaging farmers and he referenced the row with Russia and the subsequent tit-for-tat sanctions and embargos which had fallen disproportionately on the EU’s farmers and food producers. Mr. McCormack said that CAP is a massive positive economic benefit to rural Ireland and any cut to farm payments would have a multiplied negative effect. Commissioner Oettinger analysis boiled down to telling EU farmers that they would have to do more for less and Mr. McCormack said that this was as unacceptable to farmers as it would be to any other sector or workforce.
Ends 7 March 2018
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office