asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food in view of the fact that Ireland's farm incomes are the lowest in Europe if he will accept the offer from the EC Commission that it is prepared to make direct payments worth £75 million to low-earning Irish farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Written Answers. - Farmers' Income Aids.
I assume that the Deputy is referring to the proposals made by the EC Commission for a Community scheme of direct income aids for certain farmers.
This matter has not yet been discussed by the Council of Ministers and it is not possible to forecast what the outcome of the discussions will be.
We would be unhappy with any move towards the renationalisation of agriculture policies, particularly by way of income aids which weaker member states could not afford and which substitute national contributions for current FEOGA payments.