West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

McAleer welcomes increase in rate of advance CAP payments

Sinn Féin's Agriculture spokesperson, Declan McAleer has been welcomed confirmation from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) that the rate of advance CAP payments will increase from 50 percent to 70 percent of claim value.

An application made by the Department was approved by the European Commission for the increase in advance payments following the heavy rainfall and flash flooding of 22 August 2017.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

"Today's announcement of the 70 percent SFP advance will come as a relief to hard pressed farmers who have suffered the brunt of extreme weather recently, which has significantly disrupted their livelihoods.

"This has been particularly felt in the north west where landslides have wrecked farms and community facilities.

"However, in welcoming this advance this is only a reprieve that will just about sustain the farmers until the new year.

"There is the dark cloud of Brexit overshadowing the industry, causing confusion and uncertainty and in the case of the farmers in the Sperrins they are still contending with the fallout of the August floods and still waiting in hope for a hardship package to help them deal with the damage.

"As a party, Sinn Féin will continue to fight the case for farmers to get a support package and we will continue the fight for designated special status for the north to remain within the EU as we strongly feel that this is the most effective way to protect our agri-food industry."