IFA has outlined the main changes in public expenditure and taxation affecting farm businesses and families, in Budget 2013.
Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme: Replaced by a new €10m breeding scheme funded from unused SFP funds, which will pay €20/cow with a ceiling of 20 cows qualifying per farm, total maximum payment €400. For a 40-suckler farmer, the payment will decrease from €1,600 in the suckler scheme to €400 in the new scheme.
Disadvantaged Areas: Reduction in the maximum area payable from 34 to 30ha. Will not apply to farmers in mountain grazing areas.
The allocation for 2013 is increased from €190m to €195m. However, because 2012 savings were not achieved, changes in 2013 include the cut from 34 to 30ha, in more severely handicapped (MSH) and less severely handicapped (LSH) areas.
The maximum payment reduces from €3,263 to €2,880 in MSH areas; from €2,799 to €2,468 in LSH. Farmers in mountain grazing areas who have no sheep will not qualify for the top-up of €109.70/ha on the first 10ha, but will instead qualify for the basic MSH payment of €95.99/ha.
REPS/AEOS: Funding allocation of €200m for AEOS 1, 2 and 3, and REPS 4. No change in payment rates.
The 2013 REPS 4/AEOS allocation of €200m will pay all farmers their 75% payment by year end as well as some of the 25% final payment. The carryover of payments from 2012 to 2013 will be significantly less than last year.
Discussion Groups: Funding allocation of €5m for beef discussion groups, €3m for sheep (maximum payment €1,000), and €1m for dairy (new entrants only).
Sheep Grassland: Funding cut of 22% from €18m to €14m across all rates.
Forestry: Maintenance of forestry premium and funding for a planting programme of 7,000ha in 2013. This level of funding will also maintain funding for the Forest Road Scheme, and for tending and thinning of the broadleaves element of the Woodland Improvement Scheme.
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