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