Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food Charlie McConalogue TD has confirmed that his party is to seek the reduction of the current Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) ceiling to €60,000.

Deputy McConalogue said, “The current BPS structure needs immediate change following the publication of CAP payments, where a number of individuals, some very high profile, are receiving payments of up to half a million euro.

“In the recent reply to the EU’s public consultation on the future of CAP, Fianna Fáil highlighted that future reforms should permit Member States to decide on the capping of direct payments at national level.

“It is our view that the current BPS payment ceiling should be reduced to €60,000 from the current €150,000 level. In 2016, BPS data showed that over 99% of Irish farmers received a payment of under €60,000.

“This policy position will ensure that future CAP monies protect farmers on small hectares with entitlements. This follows the 10% cut in pillar 1 direct payments under the 2014-2020 CAP and the threat of funding cuts should Britain leave the EU.

“Latest Teagasc figures reveal how vitally important CAP payments are for sustaining farm enterprises and the rural economy. 75% of farm income currently derives from direct payments.

“This Fianna Fáil policy sets out to protect the 99% of farmers who draw down on Basic Payments, while providing additional monies to increase existing payments.”