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Party Leaders Commit to Increased Direct Support for Sucklers

31 January 2020

IRELAND - IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the IFA have received clear commitments from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the leader of Fianna Fail Micheál Martin that there will be no cuts to the suckler cow herd and they will increase direct payments to sucklers in the next Government.

Mr Golden was speaking following the IFA AGM this week where political party leaders were questioned on their agriculture policies.

He said: "We put a very strong set of policy proposals to the party leaders on beef and livestock issues including Brexit, CAP, climate action and the need for a €300 per suckler cow payment.

"Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was strong on Brexit saying there can be no tariffs, no taxes and no quotas in any EU deal with the UK.

"He gave a full endorsement to the live export trade and said he would maximise the CAP budget from the EU and top it up, if necessary, with national funding.

"On sucklers supports, the Fine Gael leader there will be a new BEEP scheme in 2020, with double the funding to €40m."

The Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin committed to new additional payments of €200 per head on the first 20 suckler cows and made it clear this would be on top of the existing BDGP payment of €95/80 per cow and BEEP payments of €40 per cow.

He said the Fianna Fail leader committed to negotiating a higher CAP budget in Brussels. On Brexit, the Fianna Fail leader said the UK/EU deal must involve zero tariffs and zero quotas.

He added that he would negotiate a BEAM II scheme and pay out the €25m underspend in BEAM I to farmers. He was fully supportive of live exports.

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