The news over the past few days of changes in the operation of the Glas scheme will mean that small farmers will once again be left out in the cold with regard to participation in this scheme. It is another example of the total disconnect that exists between Minister Coveney and small family farms. The news that hedgerows are to be taken out of the environmental scheme is simply astonishing. Farmers were allowed 10 hectares of permanent pasture but now the proposal is that they will be allowed 5 hectares of permanent pasture and 5 hectares in meadow. Does Minister Coveney realise the ratio of land needed for permanent pasture on marginal land? As far as I can make out the Minister is only thinking about the Golden Vale here.
Now this morning we are hearing that the agreement made on the weight of carcasses that was supposed to be in place until January 2016 has been broken. Once again the factories have given the two fingers to farmers and the Government. When is Minister Coveney going to admit what is actually going on in the beef sector? The Minister was made aware that this situation was going to arise a week ago and he did nothing about it. I will be raising these matters in the Dail today as a matter of urgency.