IFA President Joe Healy said it’s vital that the Irish Government & the EU Commissioner Phil Hogan keep the importance of the CAP Budget at the top of the EU political agenda despite the huge focus on Brexit.

There has rarely been a political issue which has absorbed the Irish and EU political systems like Brexit, but running alongside this is the EU budgetary process for the seven years after 2020.

“The Taoiseach and Government must keep their eyes firmly on this ball as well,” he said.

“Farmers need an increase in the CAP Budget to at least keep pace with inflation, and to support farmers for any additional measures they will be expected to take on as part of the new CAP,” he said.

The proposed EU Budget outlined in May proposes increases through higher contributions from the remaining 27 Member States. Yet, the proposal is to cut the CAP budget by 5% before inflation which, based on the EU proxy inflation rate, could see the real impact of the cut being over 15%.

“This would a devastating effect on the low-income farming sectors which are very dependent on CAP payments.  Average farm incomes are 40% of average earnings in other sectors across the EU. On cattle rearing and sheep farms, direct payments account for up to 115% of average farm income.”

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