Clune welcomes €27.4m Payments for the Dairy and Pig Sectors
€13.7m of EU funding for Irish Farmers
Minister Coveney confirms flat rate payment for each of the 18,000 dairy farmers of €1,350 with a top up payment for younger farmers.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed details of a direct aid package for the dairy and pig sectors of €27.4m. This compromises €13.7m of EU funding and a further €13.7m in matching national funding. The payment will be made on a flat rate basis with each of the 18,000 dairy farmers in the country receiving approximately €1,350. There will be an additional €800 top-up for young dairy farmers.
"This is a package of measures directed to help farmers through a particularly difficult period. I welcome the top up payment for young farmers. The average age of a dairy farmer in Ireland is 51 years old so we need to encourage younger farmers into the sector. The multiplier effect of farming in Ireland is the creation of local jobs in rural Ireland. Young farmers for this payment will be defined as dairy farmers who have successfully applied for the Young Farmer Scheme. This top-up payment will be made in early 2016 when the scheme is finalised.
"I welcome Minister Coveneys commitment to get these payments to farmers before Christmas. This has been a difficult year in particular for the dairy sector. Whilst the long term outlook is positive, this flat rate payment will help many farmers through the current price volatility.
"I welcome the diplomatic initiatives to open new dairy markets at European Commission level and would call for an increased focus on free trade agreements with third countries on dairy produce. Tariff protections still present a significant barrier to Irish companies that want to do business in countries like the USA. The average tariff protection for EU agricultural products is 6.6% – and is much higher for dairy products at 22%.. Every year, Irish exporters pay over $300 million in tariffs.