‘Single Farm Payment must reflect fairness’ – Hazzard

Newry Times News Posted by
Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said that CAP reform must introduce fairness into the system for distributing Single Farm Payments.

Sinn Fein MLA Chris Hazzard

Speaking to Newry Times, Hazzard said, “Although the SFP was established to support production, it is still the case that a lot of this subsidy goes to recipients who are not active farmers.

“Perhaps one of the more extreme examples is the fact that the Queen of England receives an annual Single Farm Payment in the region of half a million pound, while Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein gets close to a million euros. I doubt if any of these individuals spend a great deal of time on the farm.

“In the interest of fairness to the hard working farmer it is essential that any new system includes the redistribution of payments towards the majority of farmers, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.

“On Tuesday, I also raised the topic of capping SFP’s during Agriculture Ministers question time. I share the view of Minister O Neill that payments should be capped at 100,000 euro per claimant, particularly given the current economic climate.

Hazzard added, “The excessively high level of payment received by a small number of farmers is used to attack the wider scheme which is worth 300 million to the local economy.

“If the SFP was capped at 100,000 euro per claimant, it would only affect a very small number of farmers in the North but would introduce more fairness into the system”.

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