A European Commission proposal to allow member states to pay a lump sum of up to €15,000 to farmers and up to €100,000 for small and medium enterprises affected by rising input costs is generating some confusion.

While there is potential in the proposals, made last week, the devil is in the detail when it comes to realising the headline payment figures. Such lump sum payments are unlikely in an Irish context or if they do materialise, the funding available would only allow these levels of payments to be made to a minority of those affected.