Capping of direct payments at €100,000 to be ‘voluntary’ for member states

As part of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the capping of direct payments for “large farmers” may be introduced on a “voluntary basis” by member states, according to the European Council.

The European Council announced today, Tuesday, July 21, that the capping of direct payments will be introduced “on a voluntary basis at the level of €100,000 for large beneficiaries”.

BISS to replace BPS

In its framework document, the council stated that this (capping) will only apply to the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS). This BISS scheme will replace the current Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

The BISS will be the most basic form of payment. The funding available for it will be calculated by subtracting the total necessary funding for all other direct payment elements from the national ceiling (the total amount of CAP money allocated to each EU member state).

The council outlined the details of the reformed CAP in its document, explaining that when capping is being applied EU member states “may subtract all labour-related costs from the amount of BISS per beneficiary”.

Direct payment allocation

More generally, farmers will continue to receive income supports, or ‘direct payments’, based on their farm’s size in hectares.

This new capping measure will be delivered under Pillar I of the CAP Strategic Plan, which is the new delivery model bringing both Pillar I and Pillar II under a single programming instrument, while retaining their sub-headings under CAP.

Largest Irish beneficiaries

Recently, the recipients of the largest direct payments under CAP in 2019 (here in Ireland) were announced.

Also Read: Who were the highest CAP direct payment beneficiaries in each county?

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine published its CAP Beneficiaries database in May, which showed that representatives of O’Shea Farms in Co. Kilkenny received the highest payment in the country, at €226,440.71.