The levels of funding available to Ireland under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been maintained, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told the Dáil.
Speaking to TDs about the recent EU summit, at which a €1.074tn budget with €336.4bn for CAP was agreed, the Taoiseach said the current levels of funding for Ireland would receive a similar amount, despite a cut in the overall CAP budget.
Figures obtained by the Irish Farmers Journal show Irish farmers will receive €10.73bn over the next seven years, compared to €10.68bn in the years 2014 to 2020.
The original proposal for Ireland made in May 2018 was for an allocation of €10bn.
“Like its predecessor, the Government made clear that for Ireland maintaining a strong Common Agricultural Policy – one that supports our farmers, farming families and rural development – was a priority,” the Taoiseach said.
“The initial proposals made by the Commission just over two years ago would have reduced the proportion of the budget for CAP to just 28%. The final agreement now sees this increased to 31%.
“From an Irish perspective, I can confirm to the House that current levels of funding for Ireland have been maintained.”
He said the maintained funds included a special allocation of €300m in recognition of structural challenges facing the Irish agricultural sector.
Martin faced heavy criticism from opposition TDs who said he had returned with an inadequate budget for farmers. He believed “given the very significant pressures to reduce the funding available for CAP”, maintaining the budget was a significant achievement.
See this week's Irish Farmers Journal for full analysis of Ireland’s new CAP budget.