Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says a proposal by her party to put a ceiling on CAP payments should level the playing field for smaller family farmers.  The party wants to limit Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments to €60,000 per farmer.

New data reveals that the average CAP payment for farmers in Cavan and Monaghan is more than €2,000 below the national average, standing at just €9,814.

Deputy Smyth commented, “Farmers in Cavan and Monaghan are already falling behind the national average when it comes to basic farm payments.  The recent publication of CAP stats reveals big discrepancies in BPS payments with some large farmers receiving substantial farm funds from the CAP programme – with some benefitting to the tune of almost half a million euro.  This contrasts starkly with the €10,000 average payment made to farmers in Cavan and Monaghan.

“In response to the EU’s public consultation on the future of CAP, Fianna Fáil put forward a proposal to permit member states to impose caps on payments at a national level.  We want to see the BPS ceiling reduced to €60,000 from the current €150,000 level – this would benefit the 99% of farmers who received a payment of under €60,000 in 2016 as it will protect smaller farmers by providing additional money to increase existing payments.

“Small family farmers have already seen cuts to their payments as a result of reductions in the Pillar 1 direct payments under the 2014-2020 CAP programme.  There are also very real concerns that more cuts could be on the cards as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the funding shortfall which may arise.

“Fianna Fáil is determined to protect the small farmer and this proposal will go a long way to ensuring that the 99% of CAP recipients earning less than €60,000 are properly supported”.