Mayo Sinn Féin TD, Rose Conway-Walsh, has called on government TDs to explain to farmers in Mayo why they are fighting against full convergence and front-loading that would bring an extra €11 million to the county.
Deputy Conway-Walsh said: "Mayo is one of the counties set to benefit the most from full-flattening of basic farm payments. This alone would see an estimated additional €11,473,881 allocated to Mayo farmers. So, why has the government fought so hard against this at EU level? CAP negotiations that were expected to conclude this week ended without agreement. This is because most EU member states support full convergence but Ireland is part of a blocking minority that continues to oppose it. These payments are based on production levels of twenty years ago! Fianna Fáil Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has been fighting against measures that would ‘front-load’ payments, meaning that there would be a higher payment on the first number of hectares, being of particular benefit to smaller farmers.
"And, he is fighting against proposals that would place a maximum limit on the amount that any one farm could receive – again distributing more supports to poorer farmers. The Irish Minister for Agriculture is delaying agreement on the CAP because he wants the flexibility to not implement these measures that will benefit our county and would bring much needed fairness to the CAP system. In opposition Fianna Fáil demanded continued convergence during the transition period. In power they aligned with Fine Gael to stall the entire CAP process in order to stop it. Sinn Féin has called on Minister McConalogue to come before the Dáil next week so that he can explain the government’s position to the people of Mayo."