Pat Smith Rewarded For Unfavourable CAP Deal for Western Farmers

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is calling on the IFA leadership in the west to clarify their position on the outcome the last CAP deal. This comes following the contents of a recent letter released by former IFA General Secretary Pat Smith where he clarified the €60,000 bonus he received in 2013 was for a successful outcome to this CAP deal. This deal will see a small redistribution of money to the farmers on the lowest payments many of whom are in western counties. We have to ask who was this successful for, it certainly was not for the majority of farmers in Ireland.

INHFA National Chair Vincent Roddy stated that “the original proposal made by the commission on Pillar 1 funds would have seen a yearly transfer of €28m into both Kerry and Donegal, €10million into both Sligo & Leitrim, €16m into Galway, with Mayo receiving €32m”

As a result of negotiations by the Irish Government and backed by the IFA these counties saw a minimal transfer of Pillar 1 CAP funds (approx. 10%) with the belief that most of the transfers in Pillar 1 was clawed back through the introduction of Pillar 2 Schemes that suited larger farmers in other parts of the country.

Mr Roddy added “the transfers to the lowest paid farmers only happened because the EU Commissioner insisted on a minimum payment and even as we discuss this, attempts are still ongoing to reduce the impact of these transfers by making as much of this land as possible ineligible thus reducing the need for transfers”

The CAP debate concluded Mr Roddy “saw a lot of facts used to justify a minimal redistribution of payments most notably the productive farmer debate. We have since discovered that these points were inaccurate and flawed and I now challenge the IFA leadership in the west or nationally to reopen this debate”