Fianna Fáil pledge €60,000 ceiling for CAP payments

MARGARET Murphy O’Mahony, the Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West has said that her party’s commitment to seeking a reduction of the current Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) ceiling to €60,000 will safeguard future farm incomes for the vast majority of Cork farmers.

“The current BPS structure needs immediate change following the publication of CAP payments, where a number of individuals, some very high profile, are receiving payments of up to half a million euro.

“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. In 2016, BPS data showed that over 99% 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% 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. 75% of farm income currently derives from direct payments.

“This Fianna Fáil policy sets out to protect the 99% of farmers who draw down on Basic Payments, while providing additional monies to increase existing payments,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.

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