A rural based member of Kilkenny County Council has warned that the present review of the Common Agricultural Policy by the EU Commission is now the most important one ever conducted.
Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, said the reality was that the average family farm in Kilkenny depends on the Basic Payment from the EU to survive and without it we would see severe rural poverty.
He is adamant that farmers cannot accept any reduction in the EU payments at this time.
The Fianna Fail local representative said Brexit will reduce the overall EU budget by €10 billion and that the CAP budget will be reduced by €3.5 billion.
“Already farmers are being conditioned for a reduction in CAP payments and now more than ever the EU must support its farmers and our rural communities,”he said.
He called on EU Commissioner Phil Hogan to defend rural communities by insisting on full maintenance of the CAP budget even if it required an increased contribution from member states.
“Kilkenny farm families must not be punished for the misadventure of a British Tory government which gave its people a referendum but clearly failed to inform them of the consequences of leaving the EU,” he said.
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