Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Details emerge on flat-rate SFP plan

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Further details are emerging on how a new flat-rate Single Farm Payment system might work here.

As was first revealed here in the Farming Independent last week, the Irish administration is actively looking at an 'approximation' system similar to that used by the EU to determine the overall agriculture budget for each member state.

The mechanics of how such a system could work are teased out below.

Baseline

First, a base level would be set at 90pc of the average payment after the greening, national reserve and a possible coupling element are removed.f these three elements amounted to 30pc, it would leave the 90pc baseline figure at approximately €170/ha in Ireland's case (see table 1).

Farmers whose entitlements (after the greening element has been removed) are below this baseline would be topped up by one third of the difference.

This would see a farmer who has entitlements of €100/ha get a top up of €50/ha, while a farmer with entitlements worth €400/ha faces a deduction of €50/ha (see table 2).

The idea is gaining ground with farm organisations and analysts who see it as a more palatable compromise solution than a straight flat-rate payment across the country, despite the fact that less than 4pc of farms would lose more than 50pc of their payments if there was a switch to a flat-rate system.

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Teagasc figures, based on 2006 data, show that more than half of all farms actually stand to gain from a switch to a pure flat-rate system based on the national average of €270/ha.

Indo Farming