25th June, 2013
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin has said that the 60% minimum payment emerging from CAP reform negotiations represents a crude and flawed effort to redistribute CAP funds and it will be too severe on typical cattle and sheep farmers with modest payments.
Speaking from Luxembourg where an ICSA delegation is closely monitoring the negotiations, Mr Gilmartin said, “The news that the minimum payment will be set at 60% of the average (or close to €150/ha) means that many farmers, currently on modest payments per hectare, will have a 12% or greater cut to their current payment in addition to a 2% cut for the young farmer scheme and 3% for the national reserve. While there is a maximum cut of 30% for the farmers with the biggest payments, it is the typical cattle and sheep farmer with payments in the range €300-500 that will suffer the most.”
“On the other hand, the fact that it seems likely that all landowners will qualify for this minimum payment means that we are missing an opportunity for a really worthwhile increase to progressive and active farmers, which could have been achieved with greater targeting.”
“There is too much emphasis on levelling the field and not enough on helping those who want to help themselves. This CAP reform has been based on a flawed principle right from the start of moving all hectares to a flat rate. While we are not going to have a flat rate, the concept of a minimum of 60% for all hectares regardless of farming activity is still a flawed reform,” he concluded.