Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 April 2019

EU Commission proposes possible limit of €60,000 on CAP payments

Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Farmer payments from Brussels could be limited to €60,000-€100,000 according to new proposals being tabled in Europe.

Draft documents from the EU Commission's Agriculture Directorate General proposed that there is a cap put on payments to farmers from Pillar One payments of €60,000-€100,000, the Farming Independent reports.

While just a draft, the paper goes on to suggest a greater focus on those who depend on farming for their living, more supports for smaller farmers and further focus on environmental issues.

Over 80pc of EU farming direct payments go to 20pc of farmers and direct payments make up nearly two-thirds of total farm income in Ireland.

In 2015, some 261 Irish farmers and agri-business interests received payments in excess of €100,000.

The EU Commissioner for Agriculture has confirmed that the European Commission is looking at ways to keep the Common Agricultural Policy fit for purpose and that further details would be detailed at the end of November this year.

He said the Multiannual Financial Framework must be “balanced and realistic”. “The share of CAP needs to be maintained at a reasonable and appropriate level for the CAP to stay fit for purpose."

Fianna Fail had proposed a cap on EU payments to farmers earlier this year and said that this move looked like the Commission was taking on board calls for a fairer system.

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ICMSA President John Comer said it was critical that the “starting point” for these discussions sets out “at the minimum” the preservation of the present CAP Budget.

He said the loss of the UK’s contribution to the CAP Budget must not be used to cut existing funding.

Instead, the deficit would have to be made good by the remaining Member States “including Ireland”, he said.

ICSA president Patrick Kent said CAP payments should be about a “sustainable income” for the family farm and “not about huge payments to meat factory-controlled feedlots”.

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