System failure? Massive difference in CAP payment rates
New figures have revealed massive variations in per hectare CAP payments - and some of the country's richest farmers are the big winners
A "levelling off" of EU supports to farmers has been called for after figures released by the Department of Agriculture confirmed massive differences in CAP payment rates between the east and west of the country.
While farmers in the east and southeast have the highest average Single Farm Payments, at over €300/ha, those in the northwest generally receive around €120/ha less.
The Department figures are based on the Single Farm Payments for 2014 and 2015. They show that Carlow farmers have the country's highest average direct payments at €332/ha, while those in Donegal have the lowest at €182/ha.
Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív said the disparity in payments between eastern and western counties illustrated the unfairness of the current system.
"We need the levelling off in the combined basic and greening payment as the farmers on the best land are getting the highest subsidies, and those on the worst land get the lowest," Deputy Ó Cuív said.
"At the very least we should be moving towards a uniform payment per hectare. Those on the poorest of land need the biggest payment," he maintained.
An Irish Independent investigation revealed that 20 landowners received over €175,000 each, and six individuals pocketed over €250,000.
The biggest individual payment is listed as Walter Furlong's €389,640, but Larry Goodman's family receive €483,753.