Minister for Agriculture 'committed' to lowering farm payment ceiling to €100,000

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that he is committed to lowering the maximum amount that farmers can receive in key EU payments to €100,000.

The current €150,000 limit on basic payments is enshrined in EU regulations, which establishes the current rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the CAP.

Minister Creed says the lowering of this limit would require a legislative change in Council, something that is not envisaged as part of the Commission's ongoing simplification programme.

However, responding to questioning from Fianna Fail’s Agriculture Spokesperson, Charlie McConalogue the Minister said the lowering of the basic payment ceiling to €100,000 is something he is committed to, in line with the programme for Government.

“I will be seeking to address this matter in the context of the future reform of the CAP.

"No proposals have yet been tabled in this regard by the Commission, either in the context of a mid-term review of the current framework or in the context of future policy post-2020.

“However, I will be tabling the matter at the appropriate point as the discussions on future policy evolve,” he said recently.

More than 330 Irish farmers and businesses received over €100,000 each in EU monies last year, figures released under new rules have revealed.

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Agricultural colleges, stud farms and meat processors were among the big beneficiaries of €1.8bn worth of payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

For a system designed to keep small farmers on the land it is extraordinary that the top 20 payments out of CAP in Ireland average over €250,000, especially when compared with the average farmer's payment of €12,000.

These were the amounts paid out in 2015, but with the latest reforms to CAP they are expected to decrease, before being finally capped at €150,000 per recipient.

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