Harkin clarifies issue with IFA

Marian Harkin MEP
Independent MEP Marian Harkin has described criticism by the IFA towards her “attitude” to Pillar 2 of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP ), as “a total misrepresentation and an attempt to deflect the attention of farmers”.

Independent MEP Marian Harkin has described criticism by the IFA towards her “attitude” to Pillar 2 of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP ), as “a total misrepresentation and an attempt to deflect the attention of farmers”.

Speaking after the farming organisation launched a scathing attack on the north/west MEP over the matter, Ms Harkin said, “As of now, there is a need to focus on Pillar 1 for which there are tangible proposals”. “It is necessary to focus on Pillar 1, rather than on Pillar 2 for which we are awaiting commitments from the Minister as to levels of co-financing and the detail of proposed schemes,” fumed Harkin. “At the many meetings I have held with IFA officers, and at public meetings that I organised throughout the north/west constituency, I emphasised the great importance of Pillar 2. However, I had also warned that the huge cuts to Pillar 2 schemes over the last few years had left many farmers struggling badly and that the immediate focus needed to be on Pillar 1 and the Single Farm Payment (SFP).”