Farm Ireland

Sunday 20 May 2018

Over 1,000 farmers face exclusion from 2016 GLAS scheme

And Basic Payment applications still being affected by GLAS issues

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Picture: Arthur Carron
IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke.

Farming Independent Team

In excess of 1,000 of the 3,300 farmers waiting on GLAS I and GLAS II entitlements have failed to meet the scheme's eligibility requirements and will not be paid for 2016, the Department of Agriculture has stated.

While 2,000 farmers waiting on GLAS entitlements are likely to receive payments, the Department says there are three main reasons why the remainder are deemed ineligible for payment:

  • The applicant has not carried out the necessary actions under his/her GLAS plan;
  • The applicant is no longer in possession of lands which are included in his/her GLAS plan;
  • The applicant has withdrawn from the scheme.

"Over 38,000 applicants were approved into GLAS I and II but the number of active applications at this point in time is 37,000 as a number of applicants have withdrawn or been rejected from the scheme," stated the Department.

Last week a further 268 farmers received GLAS payments totalling €958,000. The Department insisted that payments would continue to be made as applications are approved.

However, the slow pace of payments has provoked considerable anger. The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to clarify the position

"The minister stated how all farmers would be paid by the end of April. With this not happening a clear plan now needs to be put in place that ensures farmers get paid immediately," said INHFA's Vincent Roddy.

BPS blockages

Meanwhile, the IFA has insisted that GLAS-related applications blockages for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be resolved this week.

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The association's deputy president Richard Kennedy said he had received assurances from the Department that all GLAS-related problems which had delayed BPS online applications would be ironed out this week.

Some farmers and consultants could not make BPS applications online because the applicant's GLAS payments were delayed or they had not yet been approved for GLAS III.

Mr Kennedy said IFA had received assurances that this situation will be resolved early this week.

However, the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) maintained that it had been told by the Department that the problem would be sorted out by Friday last, but members were still experiencing difficulties over the weekend.

"I was going to work on these BPS applications over the weekend but there's no point because we're still being locked out," said Carlow-based consultant, Pat Minnock.

"This is going to cause serious problems because we have less than two weeks to get these applications in," he added.

Farmers have until Monday, May 15 to apply for BPS, the National Reserve and Young Farmer Scheme.

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