Lorcan McCabe: the announcement of a 2020 National Reserve is very welcome
Following a meeting between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and farm organisations, the deputy president of ICMSA has said that the announcement of a 2020 National Reserve is very welcome.
Lorcan McCabe said that it showed a consistency of support for young farmers in an ever-changing agriculture sector.
Mr McCabe was particularly positive about the fact that the 2020 scheme will show no changes in the basic terms and conditions, meaning that the off-farm income limits, age and set-up requirements remain in place.
Close to €3m will be allocated this year, a figure that’s similar to previous years. This is being funded through the 20% clawback from sales of entitlements and the non-use of entitlements for two years.
The clawback on the sale of entitlements will remain the same for 2020 and ICMSA asked the Department to consider future policy options to ensure that the benefit of entitlements came to the farmer rather than the landowner.
With inflation eroding the value of entitlements and convergence having a negative impact on many farmers’ payments, the future funding of the National Reserve will come under scrutiny in the coming years, Mr McCabe said.
“We’re warning now that an linear cut to the BPS - or the Basic Income Support Scheme as it will be known post-2020 - will not be tolerated by farmers,” he said
Payments had been cut enough and farmers simply could not afford additional reductions, said Mr McCabe.