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Agriculture Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 5 May 2021

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Questions (676)

Peadar Tóibín


676. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of the decision making process for the new distribution of area aid payments; when the decision will be made; the details of the per farmer redistribution amount if the upper limit was brought down from €60,000 to the average farm income of €24,000; and the steps he will take to ensure that there is not a continuous exiting of farming by farmers who are at the lowest area aid levels. [22695/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I am acutely aware of the importance of the financial support provided under Direct Payment schemes for Irish farmers. The aim of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is to support farming across all sectors, the redistributive mechanisms currently in place under Pillar I seek to create a more even payment landscape between farmers.

These redistributive mechanisms are a core EU policy and are set to continue under the draft regulations for the new CAP. There has been extensive engagement and consultation with stakeholders on this process since the draft proposals were announced. I continue to engage with stakeholders with a view to ensuring that the developing EU regulations include a suite of measures which will enable us to ensure the fair implementation of these vital financial supports.

Discussions are continuing around the new legislative proposals for the CAP and the final shape of the regulations and the options available to Member States will not be clear until this process is concluded. The Department continues to play a proactive role in this process.

The draft proposals currently include a number of measures which concern redistribution of direct payments, including:

1. an overall cap of €100,000;

2. degressive reduction of payments above €60,000;

3. a complementary redistributive income support scheme, and

4. the convergence of payments towards the average payment per hectare nationally.

The Department has carried out preliminary modelling exercises, including a review of the implications of capping of payments; the results of which have been made available online. However, any analysis only remains current until one of these elements changes.

Under these draft regulations degressive reduction of payments can only commence above €60,000, a cap of payments below this value is not permissible.