The President of the ICMSA, Pat McCormack, has reacted to the contents of a study in the Journal of Agricultural Economics which has found that a considerable proportion of the direct payments to farmers are going to landowners who are not farmers due to high land rental values.
This is clearly not an issue that only occurs in Ireland and is actually a community-wide situation but it is also apparent that “very substantial amounts of direct payments” are ‘leaking’ away from farmers. Overall across Europe, it is estimated that as much as €10 million is now bypassing farmers.
“CAP and direct payments were specifically designed to support active farmers farming the land and the conclusion that €85 million of that support is being lost to non-farming landowners confirms a major flaw in the direct payment system. Actually, the ICMSA would estimate that €85 million is an underestimate.