Too much red-tape around CAP: Phil Hogan

The EU goes over the top in the disproportionate way it deals with farmers who have small holdings, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said. 
Too much red-tape around CAP: Phil Hogan

He told Oireachtas members that penalties for these farmers are not fair and need to be examined. Addressing the Joint Committee on Agriculture, he said inspections are a contentious but hugely important issue.

“As part of the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy, I am looking at this area very carefully to see what we can do, especially for smaller producers and small farmers,” he said.

Mr Hogan said he agreed there is too much bureaucracy attached to the CAP. However, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, had 8,000 amendments during the 2013 discussions.

Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuiv said one of the reasons for the single farm payment was to get rid of the previous plethora of schemes. No sooner had that been done, however, than the farming organisations looked for additional specific schemes, which made life very complicated for smaller farmers in particular.

“If a small beef farmer wants to get money from the CAP, he or she has to join the basic payment scheme, the greening scheme, the Glas scheme, the discussion group scheme and the animal health and welfare scheme,” he said.

Mr Ó Cuiv said that is a considerable number of schemes to join in return for a payment of €8,000 to €10,000. A person who gets a payment of €100,000 can ignore all the small schemes, whereas the smaller farmer must join many schemes, each of which has conditions.

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