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Direct Payments

Table 2.3 shows the distribution of direct payments[3]  by decile of family farm income using national farm survey data. The data shows that the lowest 20% of producers in terms of family farm income received 13% of direct payments while the top 20% of producers received almost 32% of payments. The data also indicates that average direct payments exceeded family farm income for all but the top 20% of producers.


As mentioned in Section 2.2 total direct payments to farmers were estimated to be €1,746 million[4]  in 2010. This figure relates only to direct payments which are included by the CSO in the calculation of operating surplus in agriculture, some of the main elements of which were the Single Payments Scheme, REPS, Compensatory allowances for Disadvantaged Areas and disease compensation payments. When all payments to farmers are incorporated total payments to farmers rise to €2.1bn, which includes expenditure on investment schemes, installation aid and afforestation grants and premia. Table 2.4 provides a breakdown of payments by province for the 2010 calendar year.

[3] Direct payments in Table 2.5 include the Single Payment Scheme, REPS and area based disadvantaged area compensatory allowance scheme.
[4] This figure excludes afforestation grants and premia, all on farm investment grants and payments to retired farmers under the early retirement scheme.


Figure 2.4 below shows the distribution of the Single Payment Scheme to farmers.  The average payment under the SPS was €9,830 (but over 70% of recipients received payments under this amount).  38% of payments went to the 10% of farmers with the highest SPS incomes.