The Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS) is essentially a mechanism which proposes to redistribute at least 10% of the direct payments ceiling from larger to smaller farmers.

It is one of the few figures in the strategy document and in Ireland’s case this amounts to an annual figure of €118m or approximately €590m over the lifetime of the next CAP (2023-2027).

Derogation

There is a derogation available that permits member states to take account of the redistributive effects of other elements of direct payments before deciding if the CRISS measure is required or to what extent the measure will be implemented.

The structure to redistribute funds is a frontloading of payments whereby the payment will be made as a top-up on the first hectares of each holding receiving payment.

It is a divisive topic and one which will cause unrest between farmers and farm organisations.

A figure of 10ha has been called for by some, but no such figure has been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture.

Key questions

The consultation paper poses key questions on the issue of whether Ireland should opt to go further and redistribute more than 10% of direct payments or, alternatively, if Ireland should explore using the derogation to reduce the percentage below 10%.

Another issue to be clarified is what size of holding should qualify for redistributed funding.