Coveney keen to cut CAP cash to biggest of farmers
Published 26/09/2013 | 05:00
BIG farmers earning more than €150,000 a year from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are to see their payments slashed.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said he is in favour of putting a new ceiling on payments so nobody gets more than €150,000 from the EU's single farm payment.
The move would affect around 60 big farmers and agrifood businesses in Ireland.
It has been made possible after the EU parliament this week agreed new rules that will cut payments over €150,000 by 5pc while allowing member states the more radical option of capping them altogether.
Speaking yesterday at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois, Mr Coveney said he would make a decision within six weeks as part of the process of agreeing detailed rules for Irish farming under CAP reform measures.
"The CAP should not really be about supporting very large commercial entities," he said.
"I think it's important to send out a signal. From my perspective, I don't think farmers should be getting more than €150,000 in direct payments.
"I'm not going to make any final decisions on any issue until we have everything in place, but all I'm saying is that my personal view is that we should use the option available to us to the maximum extent. I don't think we should be paying anybody more than €150,000."