A CAPPING of direct payments per applicant at €60,000 is one of the proposals announced by Fianna Fáil at last week’s Ploughing Championships for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that will follow on from the 2014-2020 deal.
Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConologue said that the new ceiling on payments of €60,000, as compared to the current one of €150,000, would provide an extra €85 million to supplement existing payments.
“This is in order to ensure that future CAP funds safeguard farmers on small hectares with entitlements, following the 10% cut in direct payments negotiated under the 2014-2020 CAP deal,” said Deputy McConologue.
He added that based on the data available from 2016, 99% of all Irish farmers received a basic payment of under €60,000 – CAP reforms, he said, should allow member states to decide on the payment capping levels.
According to an EU publication last May, there were at least 10 enterprises in Ireland receiving over €200,000 in direct payments, two of them owned by meat baron Larry Goodman and members of his family.
East Galway Fianna Fail TD Anne Rabbitte said that the CAP must ensure that primary producers, which are the backbone of rural communities, can generate sufficient income levels.
“The next CAP programme, post-2020, must therefore ensure farmer income levels are central to future policy decisions. Direct payments under CAP sustain rural communities and the family model of farming throughout Europe.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.