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Saturday 21 April 2018

IT problems continue to hold up GLAS payments for 10,000 farmers

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Some 10,000 farmers in GLAS are still waiting on 2016 GLAS payments, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

At end of December 2016 there were 37,500 active participants in the GLAS scheme of which 27,400 received 85% of their 2016 payment.

Payment can only issue where all the required validation checks have been successfully passed. Some 10,100 cases did not pass all the checks.

According to the Minster for Agriculture, Michael Creed work on processing these cases, including development of further IT functionality, is on-going with a view to effecting payment as quickly as possible. 

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has criticised the Minister the ongoing delays in processing payments to farmers under the GLAS agri-environmental scheme.

 “Farmers are rightly furious over the inexcusable delay in issuing the 2016 payments under the GLAS scheme.

“These farmers are at crisis point as a result of the delay in issuing payments. My colleagues and I are inundated with calls from frustrated farming families who are wondering when they will get their payments.

“Many of them are already under serious financial strain and urgently need these payments to ensure that bills are paid.

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“It’s important to note that the ongoing delays are a clear breach of the Farmers’ Charter of Rights which was agreed between the Department of Agriculture and farming organisations.

“Under this charter it was agreed that up to 75% of GLAS payments will commence by the third week of October, with the balancing payment being made in mid-December each year. It’s deeply disappointing that the Minister is not sticking to this agreement.

McConalogue said Minister Creed’s failure to promptly fix the logjam in processing payments for various schemes warrants an immediate review of the IT system in operation in his department.

“It is simply unacceptable that farmers who have applied for the scheme on time are still waiting for 2016 payments. We can’t allow this to simply become the norm for vital farm payments.”

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