THE ‘black hole’ of Brexit is being blamed for the 5% reduction in the CAP budget for the post-2020 period – however, EU Agricultural Commission, Phil Hogan, has pledged that he will ‘prioritise the protection’ of direct payments in the new programme.
Commissioner Hogan also confirmed last week that they were now proposing a cap of payments at €60,000 per farmer with the savings generated from this capping to be redistributed to smaller farmers.
“This should serve to further mitigate the impact on the incomes of the small and medium-sized farms, which are the heartland of rural Ireland,” said Commissioner Hogan.
Writing in an edition of last week’s Irish Independent newspaper, Commissioner Hogan said it could yet be the case that the European Council will agree to increase the size of the budget.
If that happened, according to Commissioner Hogan, this could have potentially positive consequences for the CAP budget and the support for Irish farmers.
“We have chosen to prioritise the protection of direct payments, recognising their vital contribution to farm incomes.
“Through capping, we have chosen to focus on small and medium sized farmers. The next CAP will also include a specific set of measures to support young farmers,” said Phil Hogan.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.