Smith: BPS ceiling of €60,000 should be adopted

The next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should protect Irish farmers – and a Pillar 1 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) ceiling of €60,000 to be adopted, according to Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith.

The TD for Cavan-Monaghan and European Parliament candidate for Midlands-North West in the upcoming European elections said:

“The next CAP reform should permit member states to decide on the capping of direct payments at national level.”

He added that the next CAP should reduce the current BPS payment ceiling to €60,000 in Ireland, down from the current ceiling of €150,000.

Such a policy shift would ensure that future CAP funds safeguard small and medium-sized farmers.

“This is a socially progressive policy which will help to safeguard the important family model of farming and those on low incomes,” he added.

The TD said that this capping will be a key measure of his party’s agriculture policy in the time ahead, with the same views echoed by farmers at a recent meeting in Co. Monaghan and by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

“The final say on the next CAP funding will be made by the incoming European Parliament post May 26,” he said.

“Yesterday, at meetings with members of the European Parliament and with senior commission officials, I outlined very clearly the absolute need to protect the CAP budget due to its critical importance – not just to the farming community but to the entire rural economy,” deputy Smith concluded.