Ferris calls on Minister to clarify new payments scheme
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has called on agriculture minister, Simon Coveney, to clarify what the new system of farm payments agreed last night will mean for Irish farmers.
Deputy Ferris gave a welcome for acceptance of the need to move to a fairer distribution of the payments but stressed that the details of the new scheme would have to be disclosed before a considered judgement could be made. He also called on the Minister to honour the commitment he made immediately to cap higher level payments at €100,000.
Deputy Ferris said: “While there is now an acceptance of the need to move towards a fairer system of distributing farm payments, it is still unclear what this will mean if the agreement is implemented. If the Irish convergence proposal has been accepted, those on smaller payments will gain, but not to the extent had there been agreement on front-loading a per hectare payment.
“It is also unclear how quickly the new system, assuming it is approved by the Parliament, will come into effect and how it will be implemented here, given the scope for flexibility on the part of member states. I would hope that moves towards redistribution will begin immediately and that we will see a significant shift before 2019.
“I would also hope that the Minister honours his commitment to implementing a cap on higher payments, beginning with a limit of €100,000. I would like to see that lowered to €50,000 by 2019.”