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CAP agreement: 'something better than nothing' for farmers
AFTER last month’s EU budget negotiations, experts expect the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget for 2014-2020 to fall by about ten per cent.
The total CAP budget over the next seven years will be set at around £320bn, according to a leaked paper on the total EU budget by the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
This is the first time in the history of the EU that the total budget has been cut.
Richard King, head of business research at consultant Andersons, said: “The cut in the budget is not good news for farmers, but the fact that EU leaders have agreed something is better than nothing.
“It is not quite clear how this will filter down to what UK farmers will get. We will have to wait and see.
But it will probably mean at least a ten per cent cut in payments in future.”
Other highlights of the leaked paper show:
* Total EU budget (MFF) for 2014- 2020 will be cut by around three per cent in real terms compared to 2007-13 figures
* Cut in Pillar 1 (SPS) and Pillar 2 (Rural Development) will be about equal n No details yet on UK share of total CAP budget (especially Rural Development allocation)
* “Modulation” of up to 15 per cent of Pillar 1 funds allowed n Modulated money has to be matchfunded by national Treasuries at 1:1
* “Greening” to remain at 30 per cent n Concept of greening “equivalence”
specifically written into final deal Mr King said UK farmers would be delighted to learn the capping proposal to limit direct payments for larger farms was likely to be introduced on a voluntary basis for EU member states – and therefore unlikely in the UK.