Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 23 October 2017

Department warned not to break promise to make GLAS payments this week

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said the promise of GLAS payments this week has to be delivered upon and farmers will not tolerate any foot dragging on this issue.

“It is vitally important that all 38,000 farmers in the scheme get a payment as frustration is building up in relation to processing of payments.”

The latest comment from the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed are that the first full year of GLAS 1 and GLAS 2 contract payments are due in 2016 and the prepayment checking process is currently under way for both schemes with a view to commencing payment before the end of 2016.

Brady said farmers have been promised the payment for some time.

"The Minister had said that payments would commence the week beginning December 19.

“It will not be acceptable if these payments drag into next week or beyond. Farmers have incurred costs such as planning and compliance fees and cannot have any payment delay as maintaining cashflow is vital.”

Meanwhile, The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a total of just under 14,000 applications were submitted under GLAS 3.

It says an analysis of the breakdown of these figures is now underway.

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A decision on the number of farmers accepted into the Scheme will be made when this analysis is complete.

The Department has also said it is anticipated that GLAS 3 approval letters will issue to applicants before the end of January 2017 for approval into the scheme with effect from January 1, 2017.

The environmental initiative already has 38,000 participants, but with 14,000 applications in for the last tranche of the scheme, total demand is set to exceed the original target of 50,000 farmers.

A maximum annual amount of €250m has been budgeted for the scheme over seven years.

Brady welcomed the announcement that 14,000 have joined GLAS 3, bringing the total number in the scheme to 52,000 farmers.

"All 14,000 farmers must be allowed in, including the 800 who are Tier 3," he said.

He said contracts for GLAS III will commence from January 1 next and IFA is calling on the Minister to issue acceptance letters into the scheme over the next number of weeks.

Concluding, Joe Brady said that given the recent Teagasc outlook for Farm Incomes in 2017, direct payment schemes such as GLAS are a vital component of farm income support.

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