Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

'IT excuses wearing very thin’ as 10,000 farmers wait GLAS payments

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Over 10,000 farmers are still waiting on GLAS payments - six weeks after the October payment day, which the Department of Agriculture's commitment to.

GLAS 2016 payments representing 85pc of the full year payment for 2016 have issued to over 19,225 GLAS 1 participants and over 8,135 GLAS 2 participants, according to the Department of Agriculture.

It says further payments will continue on an ongoing basis as individual issues are resolved. However, according to the IFA, some 10,000 farmers are still waiting on payment.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady said the pay-out of GLAS payments to farmers to date is sluggish, and called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to ensure that all 38,000 farmers are now paid the promised 85pc payment without any further delay.

Brady said that while the commencement of GLAS 1 and 2 payments over the past week is welcome, it would appear from feedback IFA is getting on the ground that there are many who have yet to be paid.

Excuses such as IT issues are wearing very thin and if problems persist in this area, the Minister must intervene, he said.

The first two tranches of GLAS, proved to be a major success for the Department, with a total of 38,000 participants approved into the scheme to the first two tranches on the scheme and a further 14,000 applications to GLAS 3 – a record number of entrants to any agri-environment scheme in a single year.

Prior to Christmas the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed announced that his Department had commenced issuing GLAS payments to farmers some four weeks later than its commitment in the Farmers Charter of Rights to make payment of up to 75pc from the third week of October.

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In relation to GLAS 3, the IFA Rural Development Chairman said all 14,000 farmers who applied must be accepted into the scheme, including the 830 Tier 3 farmers. This will bring the total in the scheme to around 52,000 farmers and well within the annual allocated amount of €250m promised in the 2014-2020 RDP. Scope exists to bring in additional farmers later this year.

Brady said that GLAS 3 farmers must be notified of their acceptance into the scheme before the end of January. This will allow full year payment to be made later in 2017.

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