Capping deal a side show – IFA

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA)  is calling Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney TD’s commitment to cap direct single farm payments at  €150,000 a “side show”.

“By the time the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) deal is fully implemented there will be a very small number of businesses left, who will be affected by this measure,” added press officer Niall Madigan, who was speaking from the National Ploughing Championships earlier today.

“The real issue moving forward is to get Government agreement on a co-funding deal for the next Rural Development Programme.

“We know that the EU will make €300m available as their commitment to the new scheme. The question is: will the Government agree to match this figure? The first opportunity they will have to commit in this regard is courtesy of next month’s Budget and we will be taking every opportunity over the coming weeks to make all relevant Government ministers aware of farmers’ views on this crucially important matter.”

This week saw European farm ministers and a negotiating team from the European Parliament finalise a deal on the EU’s CAP for 2014 to 2020.

The agreement, which now passes on to the entire Parliament for vote, caps the amount farmers can receive in direct payments of over €150,000. According to the European Commission, this measure will reduce the amount the largest farms will receive by at least 5 per cent.

Speaking at the Ploughing yesterday Minister Coveney indicated that he is of a mind to introduce this measure as part of the detailed agreement implemented for Ireland over the coming months

“Member states may choose to cap payments fully at this amount. This is up to the countries themselves to decide,” said Mairead McGuinness, the Irish MEP dealing with direct payments for the European People’s Party group in the Parliament.

The cap on payments above €150,000 does not count for greening activities.

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