Deering Meets Carlow IFA Executive.

19th April, 2012

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering,held a very positive and constructive meeting with Carlow IFA Executive on Monday 16th April, there was a very wide ranging agenda.

The first item on the agenda was the Stability Treaty, The IFA have already endorsed the treaty which was welcomed by Deputy Deering and he encouraged the executive to work with their members to ensure a ‘Yes’ vote. This is about investor confidence at home and abroad. It’s a framework for ensuring long-term stability, recovery and economic growth. It is about discipline and good housekeeping and making sure that no future Government, here or any where across Europe, can ever mismanage our affairs again. It’s also an insurance policy giving us access to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) if we need it. Only twelve of the seventeen Euro countries are required to pass this treaty, this train will leave town next January whether we’re on it or not.

The increase in Carbon Tax was next. This increase is due on May 1st. Deputy Deering has already asked for a postponement but has been unsuccessful so far, he will continue to work for a fairer rebate system.

Then the meeting discussed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). There is concern that the overall budget has not yet been agreed. The proposed flat rate payment is worrying many farmers, this would have a detrimental effect on productive farmers, especially in the eastern part of the country. There was also concern that 2014 will most likely be the reference year and the negative effect that this will have on con acre prices in the build up.

The Government are committed to another round of AEOS payments for 2012, but it looks like this will have to come from the 2013 budget, which is how it was financed last in 2011, from the 2012 budget.

Third level education grants were discussed next. There has been a suggestion that farmers assets will be considered when assessing their children’s applications. Deputy Deering confirmed that he would be opposed to this and that he has already lobbied the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. This would discriminate against farmers if they are the only sector to have their assets examined for this purpose. The value of an asset bears no relationship to the farmers income and it would seem very unfair if anything other than tangible income was taken into account.

There was considerable anger expressed at the type of inspections been carried out in relation to cross compliance, it’s almost an interrogation and farmers are not at all happy with the inspectors approach. Pat Deering gave a commitment to raise this issue at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture in the very near future.