Penalties were imposed on several Wicklow farms due to the burning of land outside of season in 2020.
Figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that €19,304 in reductions and penalties was applied to 13 Wicklow herds in 2020 under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) . The affected farmers faced overclaim penalties of €6,537. BPS payment reductions of €12,766 were applied. On average, farmers lost out on €1,485 from the scheme, designed to provide income support to farmers.
The information was released by the Department in response to a parliamentary question by Sinn Fein Deputy Matt Carthy. The Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said in his reply that land burned between March 1 and August 31 of any given year it is not
eligible for payment under the BPS.
Where this land is claimed under a BPS application, the area is considered to be an over claim by the Department and a penalty or reduction may be applied.
Nationally, the Department of Agriculture said it applied penalties to 176 herds, totalling €169,871 with farmers facing an average penalty of €965. However, these figures are subject to change based on the outcome of appeals and the processing of cases by the Department.