Confirmation that CAP budget share retained in Northern Ireland

Friday, 8 November, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed confirmation from UK Agriculture Minister Owen Patterson that the reduction in the CAP budget for the 2014-2020 period will be allocated equally across Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, which in effect means that the historic regional shares of this budget will be retained.

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “The announcement today from the UK Agriculture Minister is good news for farmers here in Northern Ireland. The UFU has always argued, and had recently written to Owen Patterson, that the UK’s direct support payment distribution envelopes should remain as they are since they are broadly reflective of the agricultural capacity of the area to which it is allocated. For Northern Ireland, we can’t underestimate the importance of the CAP. It plays a vital role in agriculture industry enabling farmers to produce affordable food, create jobs, look after the countryside and maintain rural communities.

“There had been some uncertainty as to how the reduction would be spread across the UK. However, this was largely buoyed by the Scottish Government which was pushing hard for a redistribution of the CAP budget, arguing that Scotland should be receiving a larger proportion. I believe that Owen Patterson has come to a fair decision in terms of allocating the CAP budget and it allows us here in Northern Ireland to proceed with the implementation process having a clear idea of the resources available.”