Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 22 January 2018

At current rate it will take ‘10 more weeks’ to clear GLAS payment backlog

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Further GLAS payments, valued at €5.3 million, issued to just under 1,500 participants over the past couple of weeks and payments to a further 750 farmers are expected to issue before the end of this week.

That’s according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed who also told senators this week that the Department has a duty to ensure that, in making payments, everything in an application that can be checked is checked as required under the regulations.

As a result, he said payments can only issue where all the required validation checks have been successfully passed.

“As issues with outstanding cases are resolved, they are paid in weekly payment runs,” he said.

However, Fianna Fail Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill said with an average of 750 per week, it would take ten weeks to clear the backlog of payments.

“I appreciate that it is a new system but the Department needs to set a realistic timeframe and start to put the processes in place.

“We are looking for efficiencies within the Department budget but also effectiveness in delivering payments to farmers. I know the Minister is on the side of farmers and I thank him for his response.”

Minister Creed said he is acutely conscious of the hardship it is causing in terms of cashflow management for individual farmers.

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“According to the charter, agreed between farmers and my Department, we are behind the curve in getting the payments out and they are overdue.

“I assure all Senators and the farming community that every effort is being made in the Department to make the payments as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Irish Farmers Association’s Joe Brady said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that farmers who joined the GLAS scheme almost two years ago, and who were promised payments last October are still waiting with no definite answers as to when they can expect to get paid.”

He called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to immediately pursue with the European Commission the IFA proposal that all farmers awaiting GLAS payments are now paid and that any issues surrounding plans would be sorted out later.

In addition, IFA has urged the Department that where particular measures in a GLAS plan are cleared, payments should be made to farmers on these qualifying measures, even where there are issues with other measures in the plan.


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