The announcement of a €500 million EU aid package is good news for farmers in County Clare. We are waiting to find out how much will be allocated to Irish farmers.
This fund will be used to ensure the provision of a 70% rate of advance payment payable under the direct payment schemes. The package will also enable the introduction of APS (Aids to Private Storage) for cheese and pigmeat, with better conditions for APS for other products and the introduction of additional promotional measures. I also welcome the separate announcement by the European Commission that it will re-engage in discussions with the Russian authorities concerning the restrictions imposed on certain pigmeat products.
Clarity is now needed on how this €500 million aid package will be disbursed between EU states. We also need to know full details of the measures the European Commission is envisaging to support the market In that respect.
I welcome the commitment of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to negotiate a positive outcome for Irish farmers. I am glad that the European Commission has addressed most of the points made by Ireland in the six-point plan that Minister Coveney presented to the Commission and the Council last week.
Fine Gael is standing up for rural Ireland and working hard to spread the fruits of the economic recovery across the country. The Party’s “Standing up for Rural Ireland” is focused on ensuring that the benefits of the economic recovery are felt in every town, village, parish and home across rural Ireland.