The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says suckler and beef farmers are not fooled by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s announcement of funds already set out in the CAP strategic plan as part of Budget 2023.
IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden said the additional €28m announced on Tuesday “merely brings supports for suckler farmers in line with what we are currently receiving”.
He said that following the budget announcement, “suckler and beef farmers are facing into 2023 with no recognition from the Minister of the challenges facing the sector”.
Golden said that Minister McConalogue has “failed to provide” the €300 per suckler cow and €100 rearing and finishing payment for beef farmers that IFA has “consistently called for”.
He said the Minister has also “failed to recognise the challenges facing winter finishers over the coming months by not providing a targeted payment based on production levels to offset input costs on these farms at our most expensive time in the production cycle”.
The IFA livestock chair warned that the Minister’s “seeking” of credit for an advance payment of the 2023 fodder subsidy scheme “will not wash with beef finishers and suckler farmers”.
Golden said the McConalogue’s lack of support in the budget for suckler and beef farmers and his “attempts to ram through a climate policy for the sector without any impact assessment of proposed measures or funding commitment” is a “very worrying direction of travel”.
He criticised the Minister, who he said has “talked the talk in support of the sector but has not walked the walk by providing the supports necessary”.
He said suckler and beef farmers have a “positive role to play in the socio economic and environmental ambition of the country”, but suggested “this is been severely hampered by the Minister’s failure to provide the direct supports necessary”.