Farmers set to lose €4.5m in CAP reform
Ireland will lose almost €4.5m from its national envelope under the proposed CAP reform document compiled by European Parliament rapporteur Luis Capoulas Santos Santos.
The draft report from the Portuguese MEP, leaked last week, was seen as accommodating demands from the Baltic member states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by increasing their national envelopes at the expense of countries with higher payments, such as Ireland.
However, there is growing concern that the Baltic states are still extremely dissatisfied with their lot and will press for further movement of funds from west to east.
This could further reduce Ireland's national envelope in the coming months.
Nonetheless, Mr Santos' report also contained some elements in Ireland's favour, including the admission that moving to a flat rate per hectare payment by 2019 was neither practical nor desirable.
He proposed that national or regional payments could differ by up to 20pc and that any reduction to a farmer's payment between 2014 and 2019 be limited to 30pc.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of amendments are set to be made to the draft document before the European Parliament will vote on the report this autumn.
While Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness welcomed Mr Santos' recognition that moving to a flat rate per hectare payment by 2019 would be too difficult, she warned that there was still a lengthy process of negotiation to go through before the final shape on the CAP direct payment regime emerges.