Roscommon-Galway TD, Eugene Murphy (FF ), says his party’s move to seek the reduction of the current Basic Payment Scheme (BPS ) ceiling to €60,000 will help protect small farmers.
Deputy Murphy says the current BPS structure needs immediate change following the publication of CAP payments, where a number of individuals are receiving payments of up to €500,000.
In the recent reply to the EU’s public consultation on the future of CAP, Fianna Fáil highlighted that future reforms should permit Member States to decide on the capping of direct payments at national level.
“It is our view that the current BPS payment ceiling should be reduced to €60,000 from the current €150,000 level,” Deputy Murphy said. “In 2016, BPS data showed that over 99 per cent of Irish farmers received a payment of under €60,000.
“This policy position will ensure that future CAP monies protect farmers on small hectares with entitlements. This follows the 10 per cent cut in pillar 1 direct payments under the 2014-2020 CAP, and the threat of funding cuts should Britain leave the EU.
“Latest Teagasc figures reveal how vitally important CAP payments are for sustaining farm enterprises and the rural economy. Some 75 per cent of farm income currently derives from direct payments.
“This Fianna Fáil policy sets out to protect the 99 per cent of farmers who draw down on Basic Payments, while providing additional monies to increase existing payments.”