Deadline looms for Basic Payment Scheme applications
Farmers are reminded that the closing date for the receipt of applications for this year’s Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is Monday, May 15, 2017.
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, TD said “I would like to remind farmers of the importance of this closing date to ensure they benefit from the maximum payment under their BPS. My Department is urging all farmers who have not yet submitted their BPS application to do so at the earliest possible date.”
Minister Creed continued “Given the range of benefits which online applications provide for farmers, I would also like to encourage farmers to apply online via www.agfood.ie. In 2016, over 102,000 farmers applied online for their BPS, and this shows that more and more farmers are finding that the best way to apply is online.”
Farmers should ensure that they lodge their applications by 15th May in order to avoid penalties that must be applied where applications are received late. Given the significance of the Basic Payment to farm income, it is imperative that farmers allow themselves enough time to complete the form accurately and to make sure it is submitted on time.
The Minister also pointed out that online applicants will also get the benefit of preliminary checks, stating “these checks will allow farmers the opportunity to address any dual claims, over claims and overlaps identified on online applications within specified time frames after the BPS closing date without penalty. These checks are available for online applicants only. Last year, approximately 5,000 farmers got the benefit of a preliminary check.”
Given the importance of the May 15th deadline, the Department has put in place a number of additional supports for farmers and agents as follows:
To assist farmers applying, a number of supports are being provided for farmers. Department staff are available at the following locations to accept paper applications or to sit down with farmers on a one to one basis and help them to submit their online application on the spot:
- At Government Offices in Portlaoise
- Between 9.30 am and 9pm from Monday 8th May to Friday 12th May
- Between 9.30 am and 5pm on Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May
- Between 9.30 am and 12 midnight on Monday 15th May
- At the Department’s offices in Farnham Road, Cavan between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm on May 10th, May 11th and May 15th
- At the Department’s offices in Derryhallagh, Drumshanbo between 9.30 am and 5.30pm on May 8th, May 12th and May 15th.
A dedicated telephone helpdesk is also available to assist farmers applying on line. The helpdesk can be contacted at 0761 064420. This helpdesk will be available to farmers for extended hours in the run up to the BPS deadline. It will be open each evening until 9pm from Monday 8th May to Friday 12th May, from 9.30 am to 5pm on Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May, and until midnight on Monday 15th May.