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Basic Payment Scheme Payments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 October 2018

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Ceisteanna (16)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

16. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to introduce a 100% reduction in the basic payment scheme on all payments over €60,000 in the new Common Agricultural Policy, CAP. [41467/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The new legislative proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy 2021 - 2027 were launched on Friday 1 June 2018 by Commissioner Hogan. The proposals, as drafted, involve significant changes, including in relation to governance, the distribution of direct payments among farmers and the increasing environmental conditionality attaching to such payments. There will be some additional discretion for Member States in configuring the measures available, within parameters laid down in the draft proposals. The new proposals must commit to a more significant environmental ambition than the current CAP schemes, including in pillar I.

These are complex proposals. We are currently in the process of what are intensive and challenging negotiations. I am working with the Commission and other Member States to shape these proposals into an effective new CAP. My Department is continuing to analyse the proposals and their potential implications for the Irish agrifood sector.

The new proposals allow for subsidiarity for Member States but with an overall commitment by the European Commission to protect the common policy and avoid distorting the single market.

I have already indicated that I am open to consider some level of capping. Ireland has already applied the maximum level of degressivity allowable under the current regulations for payments over €150,000. The new proposals include a number of measures designed to move further in this direction, including an overall mandatory cap of €100,000; degressivity for payments above €60,000; a complementary redistributive income support; and, the convergence of payments towards a minimum of 75% of the average payment per hectare nationally. However these are currently draft proposals only. My Department is at present examining these proposals carefully to assess their potential impact on applicants, and to ensure that any such mechanisms can be implemented without undue complexity.

The CAP draft legislative proposals come against the background of recent proposals for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027. The Multiannual Financial Framework sets the budgetary ceilings for the next seven years across a range of headings, including CAP. It is anticipated that the next MFF will be finalised before the European elections in May 2019. Until the final budget for CAP Post 2020 is agreed, along with the draft CAP proposals it is not possible to give an accurate position on the details of the future Agri Schemes. I remain focused on this crucial issue of the overall level of the budget and am working closely with my European colleagues on this matter.

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