Farm Ireland

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Final GLAS payments delayed until end of May

ICMSA's Lorcan McCabe. Photo: Kieran Clancy
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Farmers will have to wait for the final balancing payment for GLAS until mid-summer, it has emerged.

It is likely that the 2017 inspections will not be completed until the end of May for the environmental payments.

The ICMSA's Lorcan McCabe said the delay was just "unacceptable" as it was supposed to be paid by mid-December.

So far 46,000 GLAS applications have been paid an 85pc advance amounting to €156m.

At the Farmers Charter meeting it also emerged that payments are being held up due to inspection issues on TAMS investments relating to slurry storage and structural investments.

Mr McCabe said a commitment was given at the meeting that these would be resolved and paid before the end of March.

He said it was also disappointing that there will be no change to the 2018 BPS inspection regime despite the signing into law in late 2017 of the EU Omnibus regulation which was supposed to deliver simplifications in schemes.

The IFA's Richard Kennedy said the Department confirmed that a flexible and practical approach would be taken in regard to any weather related inspection issues.

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He said officials confirmed they are making the necessary changes for 2018 to avoid the delays that occurred with satellite inspections last year.

All farmers have to make BPS applications online this year and so far 1,341 farmers out of the 16,000 who submitted paper applications last year have lodged theirs online.

To date there have been 12,933 online applications in total.

More than 40 meetings are expected to be held by the Department in April to assist with online applications and help anyone having difficulties.

So far there have been 123,211 or 99.5pc of Basic Payment scheme applicants paid €1.16bn.

Around 94,700 ANC applicants have been paid €202.6m.

Some 20,684 farmers have been paid €16m in advance payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme. Inspections are due to be completed by the end of March, which will result in payments of €3m being paid.

Around 6,000 have not been paid in the Knowledge Transfer scheme, with reduced payments where farmers did not attend all meetings.

So far 13,814 have been paid €10.2m.

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