A Midlands North West MEP says the fanfare over final agreement on the Rural Development Programme masks the fact that funding to rural Ireland is being cut by over 30%.
Marian Harkin says 6% of the cut is from the EU, with the rest resulting from a sharp reduction in the amount of matching funding being provided by the government.
This, she says, is being particularly felt in the LEADER programme, which has seen a 36% cut in Donegal alone.
The government claims this is because new arrangements have reduced administrative costs.
Marian Harkin says that's nonsense, and the cuts are very real............