Superlevy Payment Scheme
Irish farmers face a significant Superlevy bill for the period before the end of quotas. Following representations from the IFA among others, the EU announced a three-year payment scheme to allow for phased interest-free payments over 3 years. This scheme will be administered through the Department of Agriculture. Full details are not yet available but the Department has provided the information summarised below.
- The scheme would be introduced with the backing of a Statutory Instrument
- Farmers who wish to avail of it will have to apply to the Department. When they do, a debt will be raised against them for the outstanding amount of superlevy and to facilitate payment over 1 or 2 years (the first year having already been collected in the usual manner)
- Applications will be made through the milk purchaser.
- There will be a contract between the farmer and the Dept, to include value of the debt and conditions which must be complied with. Hence co-ops cannot be left holding the debt.
- A further contract between the DAFF and the milk purchaser whose suppliers participate in the scheme will also be drawn up, to oblige the milk purchaser to collect the debt as per scheme while the supplier continues to supply them
- Other elements of the DAFF/milk producer contract to include:
o Choice of paying more than instalment value
o Agreement for the milk purchaser to collect debt from milk cheque before due date of instalment
o If debt unpaid, to be recouped with interest by DAFF from any DAFF payment due to milk producer
o Any change in legal status of producer (e.g. incorporation), or change of milk purchaser, the debt becomes due immediately, unless new arrangements are agreed with DAFF.
The Department is currently working on the SI and in contact with Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure payment of uncollected instalment as required by the EU Commission, i.e. by next Autumn. Only when this has been sanctioned by the DPER will the scheme be rolled out to farmers.
Many of the practicalities as yet unclear and will be covered in the statutory instrument. IFA will be discussing these issues with the Department and will insist that payment of uncollected instalment be done by raising the net agriculture budget ceiling, to avoid a situation where funds have to be fought over.
We are aware that some co-ops have already contacted farmers and have sought commitments re. supply for the next 3 years, or at least while the debt remains outstanding. This is clearly unnecessary based the information provided by the Department.
TAMS II funding for dairy equipment
The Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme, which is part of TAMS II, has been announced. This scheme includes funding for dairy infrastructure investment. This scheme allows for grant aid of 60% and is only available to those who meet the criteria of a ‘Young Farmer‘
It is expected that further schemes under TAMS II will open shortly to provide investment support of 40% for all farmers. Details will be included here as soon as they are available.
Knowlege Transfer Scheme for Dairy Farmers
Knowledge Transfer is a measure included under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and involves the formation and administration of knowledge transfer groups in dairy and other sectors. Funding of €100m under the Rural Development Programme has been allocated for 27,000 farmers to participate for 3 years in Knowledge Transfer Groups.