By 2015, EU budget cuts, and deductions for a farmer payment national reserve, a young farmers payment, and a crisis reserve, will probably leave farmers with only 92% of their 2012 single farm payment — even before convergence towards the national average is applied.
In years where the crisis reserve is not required, it will be paid back to farmers at the end of the year,
But payments before convergence may also be reduced, if Ireland adopts some of the voluntary features of CAP reform.
The most significant of these is the option to take up to 30% of payments for redistribution across the first 30 hectares of each farmer.
Or Ireland can take up to 10% of payments for distribution to small farmers whose existing total single farm payment is between €500 and €1,250.
If Ireland opts for coupled payment for vulnerable sectors, up to 8% of the national payment could be deducted and redistributed.
A similar measure offers the choice of taking up to 5% of the national payment for redistribution to areas of natural constraint (disadvantaged areas).
In addition to four mandatory and to voluntary deductions, member states are required to move towards a payment model where all payments are closer to the average national/regional payment per hectare by 2019.
This movement would be applied in equal steps between 2015 and 2019.
It is assumed Ireland will choose the approximation model with a 60% (of average) minimum payment. But a 30% maximum loss will take precedence over the 60% mandatory minimum.
The Department of Agriculture table, below, based on 2010, indicates how different farmers might be affected if convergence reductions are applied proportionately.
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