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Ferris highlights disparities in Farm Payments

1 October, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD, has drawn attention to the glaring disparities in the level of payments made under the Single Farm Payment. The Kerry North TD was responding to figures supplied by the Department which state that the highest single payment received in 2007 was just over €500,000. That compares to an average payment per farmer of €9,871.

Deputy Ferris said: "The large gap in Single Farm Payments is a worrying sign and undermines much of the optimism that greeted the introduction of decoupling. Indeed as the survey I launched at the Ploughing Championship confirmed, most farmers in the south west believe that their situation has worsened. That initial finding is being confirmed by further data from other western counties.

"That is hardly surprising when one considers that the average payment in all of those counties is well below the national average. Farmers in Leitrim and Mayo receive on average just over half the national rate. Of the total paid in Single Farm Payments in 2007, 70% of farmers received 28% of the total while the 2% of farmers who receive more than €50,000 accounting for 12.6% of the monies paid." ENDS

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