Farm Ireland
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Saturday 24 February 2018

Eamon ó Cúiv slams cuts to SFP payments

Deputy Eamon Ó Cuiv's is urging a protest vote.
Deputy Eamon Ó Cuiv's is urging a protest vote.
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Revelations that some farmers on large Single Farm Payments (SFP) would see their payments rise this year, while farmers on payments of a little more than €5,000 would suffer a 9pc cut have been slammed by Eamon Ó Cúiv.

The Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman's calculations, based on a written answer to a parliamentary question, show that a farmer with a payment of €5,100 a year will suffer a cut of close to €450 on his payment in 2014, when compared to his payment in 2013.

In contrast, a farmer with an SFP of more than €50,000 will see their payment remain the same, or even rise, when compared with their 2013 payment.

The discrepancy arises because farmers with payments of more than €5,000 have been subjected to modulation cuts over the last number of years that took approximately 10pc off their total in 2013. Similar linear cuts of 10.49pc will be applied to their payments in 2014, before further convergence cuts begin in 2015.

Previously, the first €5,000 of every farmer's payment was protected from modulation. In the new system, all of any payment totalling more than €5,000 will be subjected to the linear cut of 10.49pc.

Hopelessness

This is why farmers with a total payment of €5,100 will find themselves subject to a 10.49pc cut, or €450 on their entire payment in 2014.

Deputy Ó Cúiv described the revelation as a further "sneaky" blow to low-income farmers.

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"It is only now that the small print arrangements agreed during the Minister's period as President of the European Council are becoming apparent. This is creating a feeling of hopelessness amongst the farming community where it seems all the focus is on those with large farms on very good land," he said.

Deputy Ó Cúiv said that farmers should protest by voting against Fine Gael candidates during the upcoming European and local elections.

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