Key Agriculture Points in the Programme for Government

Read a summary of the key relevant points for farming and farm families contained in the programme for the new Government.

The draft Programme commits to a number of existing measures, but the focus here is on new proposals.

Read the full Programme For Government 


CAP – Pillar I
In the context of the EU mid-term review of the CAP, a lowering of the cap on Basic Payments, from €150,000 to €100,000 is proposed

Mid-term review of RDP
A mid-term review of the RDP, commencing late 2016,  to consider the efectivenes and workability of schemes and to tailor programmes strategically for the second half of the RDP rollout

Subject to EU approval, expansion of the TAMS scheme to include measures on mats for slatted sheds and rainwater harvesting systems

Areas of Natural Constraint
Enhanced Areas of Natural Constraint payments, increasing funding in this area by €25m in Budget 2018

A new sheep scheme with a budget of €25m to be provided for in Budget 2017

Invest €300m through the Beef Data and Genomics Programme
Beef Forum to continue to be chaired by Minister for Agriculture

Live Exports
Develop increased live export markets – examine export credit models
Continue to support a more efficient and seamless all-ireland market for buying and selling beef

Continue to convene the Dairy Forum to manage growth, ensure sustainability and address challenges within the sector
Investment in the development of a futures market for dairy produce and encourage price stabilisation tools to combat price volatility
Continue to apply pressure at EU level to ensure EU responds effectively to the challenges facing dairy farmers

In addition to TAMS grant aid, it is proposed to focus on the development of new and alternative markets to provide opportunities for certainty and growth in the sector

In addition to TAMS grant aid, it is proposed to support the industry in addressing animal health issues to the benefit of producers, processors and retailers

Supports and measures aimed at improving the level of production, quality and viability of the Irish tillage sector to be developed, including a new TAMS scheme

Review of Forestry Programme 2014-2020 will take place 2017 and will consider participation rates, climate change, environmental impact, rural communities and land use policy

Prioritise capital investment, grow output value to €500m, and deliver on the actions in the Food Wise Strategy

Commitment ot building a larger and more sustainable fishing and aquaculture sector, on the basis of sustainable stsocks

Inspection and appeals
Government will deliver on agreed targets for processing payments schemes and services under the new Charter

Adoption of new systems designed to streamline the payment system, such as preliminary checks

Review of the Agricultural Appeals Act 2001 to ensure the independence and efficiency of the office in dealing with appeals from farmers

There is also a commitment to honour the Charter of Rights (negotiated with IFA).

Forgotten Farmers
Seek recognition from the EU Commission for ‘forgotten farmers’ as a group with specific disadvantage under the National Reserve (farmers under the age of forty who do not meet the five year rule and who did not received Young Farmers’ Installation Aid)

Work to ensure the principle of equivalence is maintained in negotiations in terms of food safety, traceability and production standards to ensure that producers are operating on a level playing field

Animal Health and welfare
Individual blackspots in TB eradication to be addressed and the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 to be strengthened and enforced. A new Animal Health Strategy will be published

Retail Regulation
Implementation of regulations to tackle unfair practices in the grocery trade and suport for further action at EU level to deliver greater transparency and fairness in the food supply chain

Island funding
€15m will be invested in island communities during the course of the RDP

Agricultural Education
Green Cert will be reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose

Farm Assist
Review of the Farm Assist Scheme, recognising the challenges facing farmers on low incomes

Transportation of livestock
The restriction on hauling cattle without tachographs will be raised from 50km to 100km

Commitment to building a larger and more sustainable fishing and aquaculture sector, on the basis of sustainable stocks

New Cabinet Minister and Department of (Regional Development and Rural Affairs)
A new Cabinet level Minister and Department of Regional Development/Rural Affairs to provide greater political coordination and prioritisation of the work in other Departments in relevant areas that impact on rural Ireland

Agri-taxation and General Taxation
Investigation of taxation measures aimed at supporting farmers through periods of volatility
Increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit from €550 to €1,650 for the self-employed, to match the PAYE credit, by 2018
Seeking to introduce a PRSI scheme for the self-employed
Raise in the Band A CAT threshold to €500,000

Farm Safety
Consideration of the possibility of including in the farm safety scheme a measure on clearing drains

Turf Cutting
The Government will publish new legislation to de-designate 46 NHAs within the first 100 days of Government



Funding available for the Rural Walks Scheme will be doubled from €2m to €4m to increase the number of walks covered from 40 to 80

Further investment in developing a nationwide Greenway network, with particular reference to the Midlands

Once the contract is awarded under the National Broadband Plan, there is a commitment that 85% of premises will have access to high-speed broadband within two years

Fair Deal
Proposal to introduce changes to remove discrimination against small business and family farms under the Fair Deal Nursing Home Scheme

Rural Crime
Pilot scheme to re-open six Garda stations (rural and urban)
Commitment to support and prioritise community crime prevention schemes including Neighbourhood Watch and the Text Alert Scheme

Renewable Energy
The Department of Agriculture will facilitate solar developments with a community dividend, while maintaining Basic Payments, subject to EU Commission approval
The new Partnership Government will comprehensively review price supports for renewable energy following the closure of the REFIT 2 scheme
The new Government will update the wind farm planning guidelines, within three to six months, to offer a better balance between the concerns of local communities and the need to invest in indigenous energy projects. These new planning guidelines will be informed by the public consultation process and best international practice.
Commitment to community participation in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
Forestry planting to increase to 8,290 ha by 2020
Seeking to introduce a renewable heat incentive scheme

Range of measures to combat flooding

Appointment of independent facilitator to find a resolution to the impasse to allow Leader programmes to proceed

Implementation of the recommendations of the CEDRA Report, including the Rural Charter

Local Improvement Scheme
Re-instatement of a fully-funded Local Improvement Scheme for maintenance and repair of non-local authority roads

Mobile phone coverage
 Mobile phone and 4G taskforce to investigate how services can be improved

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