Plan to recoup controversial fines from farmers' SFP
The controversial fines arising out of the Department of Agriculture's review of past Single Farm Payments (SFP) and Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) applications will be taken out of farmers' direct payments this autumn.
It is understood that the Department intends to claw back the disputed payments from the first tranche of SFP monies that are due to be paid in October.
The monies will be deducted from farmers' SFP entitlements even where the fines are being appealed by farmers.
Some 4,800 farmers have already been issued with demands for €1.4m in farm grants to be repaid because of discrepancies between the old paper-based maps and the newer digitised maps.
It has since emerged that the review of payments will affect up to 10,000 farmers who made SFP and DAS applications between the years 2008 and 2012.
It is also expected that modulation of between 8pc and 10pc will apply to all SFP entitlements greater than €5,000. This will be applied to the October tranche of the SFP and the balancing payment in December.
In addition, farmers will face a cut in their SFP entitlements this year due to a 3pc reduction in the overall CAP budget. This was agreed as part of the EU budgetary negotiations earlier this year.