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O’Neill announces 7% transfer from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has today announced the rates of transfer from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) within the north of Ireland.
Friday, 20 December 2013

She announced a 7% rate of transfer from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 of the CAP for the years 2014 – 2019. This will result in a total transfer of approx €137.5million from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2.

The Minister said: "I have considered carefully the range of opinions from stakeholders on whether funds should be transferred between Pillars 1 and 2 of the CAP. Along with my officials, I have looked closely at how any transfer would affect the budget available to both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, and the sources of funding that could be available to a future rural development programme."

The Minister explained that she had consulted widely before making her decision, adding: “The issue of a transfer between Pillars 1 and 2 of the CAP was part of the consultation on the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which was out for public consultation for 16 weeks from 1 of July to 21 October 2013. In addition, my officials gave presentations on these proposals at a series of consultation events across the North, and held several meetings with stakeholders and other interested parties to provide more detail on our proposals, and listen to their views."

The Minister added: "I consider the Rural Development Programme to be a key mechanism in delivering positive change in our rural areas and it is important that it is adequately funded. Similarly, I know how important direct payments are to our farm businesses. It will benefit our farmers through ensuring funding for a Farm Capital Investment Scheme and other farming facing measures, it will allow me to continue to protect our natural environment through a well funded agri environment scheme, and continue to provide support to our rural businesses and voluntary organisations, which are so vital to our rural communities."

Notes to editors:

  1. The European Union’s proposals for rural development provide for the option of transferring annually up to 15% of the Pillar 1 budget to Pillar 2. There is also an option to transfer up to 25% of the Pillar 2 budget to Pillar 1. Rates of transfer between the Pillars of the CAP for the years 2014 to 2019 must be declared to Europe by 31 December 2013.
  2. The EU allocation for Pillar 1 budget for the North of Ireland from 2014 to 2019 is approximately €1.964billion. The EU allocation for Pillar 2 for the programme period is approximately €227million.
  3. Scotland had stated that they intend to apply a rate of 9.5%, Wales will apply a rate of 15%. England have declared a rate of 12%.
  4. All media queries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.