Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 5 December 2016

€27m refund for farmers from EU crisis fund

Louise Hogan and Nicola Anderson

Published 18/06/2015 | 02:30

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed the process to return the funds removed from the 2013 Single Farm Payment moneys to individual farmers will begin this week
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed the process to return the funds removed from the 2013 Single Farm Payment moneys to individual farmers will begin this week

Farmers will finally get a €27m refund of monies deducted from their EU payments to create a crisis reserve.

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Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed the process to return the funds removed from the 2013 Single Farm Payment (SFP) moneys to individual farmers will begin this week.

Any farmer receiving over €2,000 had a percentage of monies withheld under the so-called 'financial discipline' rule in case of a major crisis impacting on agriculture.

Those with an average SFP of €10,000 in 2013 will receive €219, those in receipt of €30,000 will receive €767, and for those with a €50,000 payment it will mean the return of over €1,315.

Mr Coveney said the monies were deducted to create the reserve, with 2.74pc of payments over €2,000 withheld.

Under the rules, if the reserve is not used then the monies are repaid to farmers in the following financial year.

John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), welcomed the return of the deducted monies but said it underlined the bewildering complexity of the post-reform Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) where a portion of a payment to farmers can be held back by the EU and diverted to a fund.

"We would just like to see the appropriate payments made on time and without these unjust and severe deductions," he said.

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Meanwhile, Mr Coveney appointed seven people selected through the Public Appointments Service to the board of Bord Bia for three-year terms.

The appointments include Rachel Doyle, who runs the Co Carlow Arboretum garden centre; Rhona Holland, global marketing director with Pepsi Co; Tony Keohane, chairman of Tesco Ireland; Tom Moran, former Agriculture Department secretary general; Raymond O'Rourke, food and consumer lawyer; Brody Sweeney, businessman; and Patrick Whelan from Whelan's Butchers.

A member of the Bord Bia board since 2011, Mr Sweeney and other board members were asked to reapply for the position.

It emerged Mr Sweeney had received a call to say he had been appointed but later received an email through the Public Appointments Service saying he had been unsuccessful.

"They made a mistake and subsequently rang me to apologise and I was happy with that," he said, as it had been a teething issue with a new website.

Irish Independent