The MEP for the Midlands North West says that the inequalities in CAP are “scandalous” when considering that other farmers struggle to just get by.
Mr. Carthy is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee and said “It is scandalous and immoral that 240 farm businesses are receiving payments in excess of €100,000 when the average payment is actually €17,932 and many farmers are receiving much less. In fact it appears that, despite the government opting for a 100% reduction in CAP payment amounts exceeding €150,000, there is still a sizeable amount of farmers receiving payments over €200,000.”
Mr. Carthy says that this shows the lack of care and respect by Fine Gael in their failure to implement policies to ensure equality. He said “This seems to show a complete disregard by the Fine Gael government to implement policies to bring equality to the system. Degressively (capping) policies chosen by the Government in the 2013 reforms are either not being implemented or are being wilfully disregarded.
Mr. Carthy also spoke of the recent merger between Dawn Meats and DunBia in the UK markets, suggesting it is rubbing salt in the wounds of farmers to see companies like them receiving high payments, he added “As if news of further market concentration in the meat processing sector brought about by the proposed Dawn Meats - Dunbia merger wasn’t worrying enough for small farmers, it has now emerged that the owners of these plants pocket €225,165 in annual agricultural subsides.”
Mr. Carthy reminded us that the CAP was set up so provide consistency in the markets and provide a sustainable supply of affordable food whilst compensating farmers, he said “When the CAP was set up in 1962 its stated objective was to ensure a stable supply of affordable food for consumers, while ensuring fair compensation for farmers. But, at its core, is an inequality that must be addressed. Some farmers are forced to cling on through meagre payments, while Larry Goodman takes home €430,000 in direct payments.
Mr. Carthy spoke of his outrage at numbers received by farmers such as Ireland’s top individual earner, Larry Goodman, “€430,000 is not a subsidy. It’s the concentration of wealth in the hands of those already controlling the market and prices other farmers receive. It’s the further consolidation of power for price givers and a kick in the teeth for those receiving the Irish average payment of €17,932.’
He called on Minister Michael Creed to explain these payments immediately, saying, “In the first instance Minister Creed must immediately explain how these recipients receiving over €200,000, including windfarms, meat processors and grain companies, have avoided capped payments.”
Matt Carthy conclude by stating that the EU and the Dáil must begin to work in unison to ensure fairness throughout the CAP system, and suggested the future of Irish farming depends on such co-operation, “In the time ahead Irish political voices in the Dáil and in the European Parliament need to work together to ensure greater equality within the CAP payment system. All Irish farm organisations must also demand fairness, which would clearly be in the best interests of the majority of their members, in payments. The very future of the Irish family farm model depends on it.”