In the Belfast Telegraph, Michael Drake helpfully points out that the Ulster Farmers Union president, Campbell Tweed, was among the top ten earners from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) here during the past two years. Hmm.. No wonder he criticised the release of the figures.. which you can find here.. Michael Drake also points out that DARD’s own College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise CAFRE, received £114,054 in EU subsidies in 2004 – part of the education it provides? I was also interested to see a statement released in Feb 2005, from then Minister Ian Pearson “I am pleased that over £80 million of farm subsidy payments have been paid to farmers from October 2004 up to the start of February 2005. This will be a welcome boost to farm incomes..” Are the NIO still pleased with the level of EU subsidies though?
As we’ve already noted, there a unanimity amongst our own politicians on this issue, a rare thing indeed, and we can add Fine Gael to that list too.