Could there be a National Reserve payment next year?
The Minster for Agriculture Michael Creed did not fully close the door on a 2017 National Reserve when responding to parliamentary questions this week.
There was no National Reserve in 2016 as all available funding of €24m had been utilised under the 2015 scheme.
In 2015 the National Reserve fund was based on a 3% cut to the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling and provided some €24m in funding which was the maximum financing rate available under the relevant EU Regulations.
There were some 6,250 successful applicants under the 2015 National Reserve.
This week the Minster Creed said in order to provide for a National Reserve in 2017 funding is required to replenish the Reserve.
He outlined that EU Regulations governing the scheme provide that funding for the replenishment of the National Reserve may be obtained by means of surrender of entitlements that remain unused by farmers for two consecutive years and by clawback derived following the sale of entitlements without land.
Minister Creed said it is envisaged that funding derived from these two sources in 2017 will be very limited.