The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has called for the capping of Pillar 1 direct payments to be set at a maximum level of 60,000 euros for all beneficiaries with no allowances for labour cost reductions.

The INHFA President Colm O’Donnell was speaking after a specially convened National Council meeting called to analyse the EU compromise package agreed in Brussels last week. “The Minister now has the flexibility to set the upper limit received by applicants at 60,000 euros with 85% degressivity on payments above 60k up to the maximum cut off level of €100,000”.

“It is not credible” he continued “to have a situation whereby beneficiaries can offset labour production unit costs before applying a capping to these huge amounts of money and Minister Mc Conologue must ensure that this cannot happen”.

The farm leader continued by stating” that this cohort of commercially viable farmers took to the streets of rural Ireland in recent weeks in a last ditch effort to preserve the status quo and seek to deny the vast majority of Irish farmers from long overdue justice “.

Concluding, O’Donnell outlined” that 73,000 Irish family farmers have waited for over twenty years for a level playing field to be created by our legislators to finally put an end to the grossly unfair historical payment system. This outdated system is no longer justifiable. The Minister now has the necessary tools to deliver for the majority through 100% convergence.

He can achieve this through the
• Use of the redistribution mechanism
• Front loading of payments
• Capping the upper level at 60k with no allowances.

All farmers pay their taxes and support their local towns and businesses and there must not be a two tier cohort that gets preferential treatment from our Government.