Farmers heap pressure on Leo as they face 5pc cut to subsidies
'Average farmer will have no cut in payment' - Hogan
The European Commissions proposal to cut funding of the Common Agricultural Policy by 5pc (€17bn) has been met with condemnation by farm organisations.
Under the new proposals, EU expenditure on the policy will fall from the current 39pc of the total EU budget to 30pc.
The Commission said the reformed policy will place a greater emphasis on the environment and climate and will support the transition towards a more sustainable agricultural sector and the development of vibrant rural areas.
Direct payment levels per hectare between Member States will be streamlined and better targeted. They will continue to converge towards the EU average. A stronger focus will be put on supporting small and medium-sized farms, it said in its statement.
Under the new rules, Member States will be given more responsibility for making the best use of the agriculture budget. They will have more flexibility than today to shift funds between direct payments and rural development, in line with national needs and targets.
A new crisis reserve will be created to address crises generated by unforeseeable developments in international markets or by specific shocks to the agricultural sector as a result of the actions of non-EU countries.
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan said direct payments would not fall by more than 3.9pc in any Member State and that the impact would be lower for small and medium farmers after capping and a redistributive payment method is introduced.
The Commissioner said that sustaining rural development at its current level would cost Ireland €47m, due to a change in co-financing structures.