Skillful cuts and ticking timebombs
Minister Coveney has learned his lesson from last year's Budget.
Back then, he announced a €30m hit to the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS). With 100,000 recipients, it was always going to be political dynamite.
In effect, the cuts are still being pushed through, albeit a year later and with an additional sweetener of €5m being reallocated to the pot.
The minister has also been much more careful to couch his cuts to the DAS and suckler cow scheme this time round in a way that he claims protects the most vulnerable farmers in the most marginal areas.
At the same time, the cut that really affects the most vulnerable farmers - to the Farm Assist scheme - is conveniently somebody else's problem in the Department of Social Protection.
But there could be a couple of ticking time bombs in changes that slipped under the radar. The Capital Gains and Acquisitions Tax increases, along with the threshold reductions, will not overly worry most farming families.
A 160ac farm valued at €10,000/ac along with stock, machinery and a house would not breach the reduced threshold of €225,000 in most cases.
However, a jump in land values to €12,000/ac would make this same farm liable to over €100,000 in taxes.