Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD has called for the Pillar 1 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) ceiling of €60,000 to be adopted in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by Ireland to protect family farms.

Deputy McConalogue commented “Last year, the European Commission proposed BPS payment capping in the €60,000-€100,000 range for the CAP post 2020.

“The next CAP reform should permit Member States to decide on the capping of direct payments at national level. Secondly, it is Fianna Fáil policy that the next CAP should reduce the current BPS payment ceiling to €60,000 in Ireland. The current ceiling is €150,000.

“Such a policy shift would ensure that future CAP funds safeguard small and medium sized farmers.

“Based on latest parliamentary question reply data, over 99% of all eligible farmers (123,258) received a 2018 basic payment of under €60,000.

“Furthermore, a new ceiling at this level would provide a €74 million pot annually (€517 million over a 7-year CAP programme) to target supports to vulnerable sectors and strengthen measures for generational renewal.

“This is a socially progressive policy which will safeguard the family model of farming and those on low incomes.

“Fianna Fáil were the first political party in 2017 to call for a €60,000 BPS ceiling. We will continue to campaign to achieve this as a key plank of our agriculture policy in the time ahead,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.