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Press Releases

Programme For Government- Agriculture

I have negotiated the following over the past few weeks on Agriculture and these proposals are in the programme for Government.
• A commitment that in the 2017 review of CAP payments the maximum payment will seek to review the maximum payment downwards from 150,000 Euro to 100,000 Euro
• That the Irish Government , through the beef forum and the sheep forum, will work with the farm lobby groups to sort out loans at low rates from the EIB and other banks to set up a fairer system for farmers
• GLAS will be open in September and 12,000 farmers will be allowed. In addition the farmers that were refused will also be allowed in. Other measures will be included to make it simpler for farmers on marginal land to join.
• The ANC in the budget at the end of 2017 will be increased by 25 million Euro a measure that will help farmers especially in the West of Ireland.
• Under TAMS a ‘maths for slatts’ measure to the value of 20 million Euro will be introduced over a three year period so that a farmer can do two bays per year and be given the opportunity under animal welfare. Also under TAMS sheep fencing will be included. Also there will be a new scheme for the maintenance of water courses and allowances for rainwater harvesting.
• There will be a new scheme drawn up for the smaller organic farmers who used to get the double payment but because of EU rules were being disadvantaged. The new scheme will front load the first ten hectares to help them in their situation
• A 25 million Euro sheep scheme to be brought in the forthcoming budget to help that sector.
• The ’forgotten farmers’ who attended with me have got a commitment in the programme that the Minister will be going to Europe within the next few months to get a category for them so that they can receive the payments that they are entitled to and thus resolving this issues that has been going on for the past 10 to 12 years.
• For farmers that are travelling 50km or more with livestock an EU rule came in that they must have a tachograph but now we have a commitment that the limit will be raised to 100 km which will alleviate that problem.
• A commitment that there will be a restructuring of the independent appeals board will take place
• A new yellow card system that will be brought to Europe for approval that will be a much better system than the one being proposed at the moment
• A commitment that the Department will focus on the whole live export market speeding up the whole process
• The Beef Genomics to be looked at in review with a view to making it far more attractive to farmers
• TTIP- is Europe making a decision and it is largely out of the Minister’s hands.
• Simplification of the movement of cattle has been agreed and this will work with the Beef Forum- for instance if a farmer brings cattle to the mart and doesn’t sell them it will not be counted as a movement.
• The inheritance tax to be raised to 500,000 Euro on farm property
• I have also asked that Commissioner Hogan be ready to open intervention in case of a problem next September with over supply.