Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (125)

Michael McCarthy


125. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the single farm payment; the changes there are to this scheme; if he will consider proposals whereby the payment is front-loaded on the first 25 hectares, making it far more beneficial to smaller and medium size farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23735/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Upon the conclusion of the CAP negotiations under the Irish Presidency in June 2013, my Department initiated an extensive process of consultation with the farming community and representative farming organisations. Following examination of these submissions, decisions regarding the application of the direct payment regime which takes effect in 2015 were finalised in early 2014.

A fundamental premise of the new Basic Payment Scheme and related Schemes is that the redistribution of funds in Ireland should be managed solely through the mechanism of the Internal Convergence Model. This model provides a predictable and effective methodology for the redistribution of funds from those who currently hold high entitlements to those who hold low value entitlements making it possible to provide precise information to farmers regarding the level of support they can expect to receive for the period 2015 to 2019. As applied in Ireland, the model will include a cap on the payment per hectare of €700 by 2019 as well as a guarantee that all entitlements will reach a minimum unit value of 60% of the national average entitlement value by 2019. This model achieves the stated objectives of a gradual phased redistribution of funds in a fair and objective manner.

My Department has undertaken an extensive programme designed to make available all relevant information regarding the new Scheme to the farming community including through farmers’ meetings and the publication of a detailed booklet ‘CAP 2015: An Introduction to Direct Payments’.