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Minister Clarifies Issues Relating to Direct Payments for 2014-2019

Further to the announcement of 14 January 2014 regarding the shape of Direct Payments in Ireland under the new Basic Payment Scheme that will take effect in 2015, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has made a number of further decisions relating both to the 2014 transition year and to the application of the new Basic Payment Scheme for the years 2015 to 2019. 


Linear Reduction Applied in 2014

Up to and including the scheme year 2013, a rate of 10% reduction, known as ‘modulation’, was applied to all amounts in excess of €5000 received under the Single Payment Scheme.

As of the 2014 scheme year, no modulation will be applied to payments received under the Single Payment Scheme. However as the national ceiling available to Ireland has been reduced proportionately, it is necessary to apply a reduction to the value of all Single Payment entitlements so as to bring their total value into line with the ceiling that is available for 2014.

Working within the restrictions imposed by the Regulation that governs the 2014 transition year, the Minister has decided that an exemption will be applied to entitlements utilised in 2013 for farmers whose gross payment claim under the 2013 scheme year is €5000.00 or less.

The percentage reduction to be applied to those subject to such a reduction has yet to be calculated but is likely to be in the region of 10%.

 

Schemes Funded under Article 68

No reduction shall be applied to payments received in 2014 under Article 68 schemes and funding for these schemes remains at current levels;

Grassland Sheep Scheme                                         €15million

Beef Data                                                                   €9million

Burren Life Farming for Conservation Programme           €1million

 

Calculating the Number of Entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme

The number of entitlements to be allocated to a farmer in 2015 under the Basic Payment Scheme will be based on the number of hectares of eligible land declared by the farmer in 2013 and 2015, whichever is less.

For example, if a farmer declares the following;

               2013                   50 hectares

               2015                   40 hectares

The number of entitlements allocated to this farmer in 2015 will be 40.

There are a number of issues due to be decided under the Delegated Acts and which remain the subject of negotiation with the Commission:

 

Status of Leased Entitlements

The value that will be allocated to any farmer in 2015 will be based on the value held by a farmer under the 2014 scheme year. This value will be based on either the total value of entitlements held by a farmer in 2014 or on the payment received by the farmer in 2014.

Under either of the above scenarios, the status of entitlements that were leased out in full  under the Single Payment Scheme but expire at the end of 2014 or in subsequent years remains to decided by the Commission under the Delegated Acts. Ireland is working intensively and with other Member States to arrive at a position which ensures fairness for all those concerned.

 

Young Farmers Scheme

The conditions that will govern the application of the Young Farmers Scheme from 2015 as they impact on a young person establishing in his own right have been announced previously. However, the application of this Scheme to legal entities such as companies and to groups of persons such as partnerships remains the subject of negotiation with the Commission. The original proposals drafted by the Commission are very restrictive in the terms applied to a young person who may farm as part of a company or partnership. Persons who meet the definition of ‘young farmer’ but who farm as a Company or partnership which includes one or more persons who do not meet the definition of ‘young farmer’ would be excluded from the benefits of the Young Farmers Scheme. Ireland is working to obtain flexibility in the application of the Scheme to such partnerships/ companies. 

Date Released: 05 February 2014