‘Damage done to principle and operation of CAP’

ICMSA says the policy has become a support system for landowners
‘Damage done to principle and operation of CAP’

There is a fundemental 'unfairness' in CAP, says ICMSA. Picture; David Creedon/Anzenberger.  

Commenting on the current CAP situation, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) President, Pat McCormack, said that Ireland now needed to focus on getting maximum member state autonomy and flexibility within the parameters of the overall CAP budget that is likely to emerge.

He also pointed out that it was imperative for the Government to work towards attaining maximum flexibility, which he added, “will allow us to mitigate the worst results of the very flawed logic behind this CAP”.

“There’s a fundamental incoherence and unfairness about a CAP system that takes money from someone farming for a living with an overall payment of €10,000 to fund additional payments to someone - usually a less active farmer - who might already be in receipt of a payment of €50,00,” continued Mr McCormack.

“This is the basic problem and it’s one that this model of convergence can never reconcile. 

“We keep being told what the motives behind the new system are, but the motives are not what matters; what matters is the outcome."

Principles

He went on to say that the outcome would "disatvantage" those who were actually farming the land in favour of the people who own the land.

“That can’t be right and is, in our opinion, a negation of the founding principle of CAP which was the supply of food through farming - not a support system for landowners.” He also pointed to the capping of payments and said:

“We are already seeing and hearing all the elementary subdivision ruses and structures that will easily circumvent the maximum payments ceiling.

“Again, we have a reform that is so easily swerved around. 

"it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that the long-term aim here is to actually make the whole idea of direct supports disreputable.

“It is as if there’s some ‘long game’ at work where necessary reforms are botched so badly and obviously that at some point in the future, the atmosphere changes from ‘reform’ to ‘ending altogether’.

“That might seem cynical, but at this stage the damage being done to the principle and operation of CAP is so deep and irreversible that we have to think that this is moving past mere incompetence and into something more deliberate.”

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