IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe has received assurances from the Department of Agriculture that the 70% advance on the Basic Payment Scheme will commence next Monday.
Speaking after a Charter of Rights meeting, the IFA Deputy President said, “It’s absolutely essential that there’s no delay in payments this year. All farmers must be paid their advance BPS next Monday. It’s critical that uncompleted inspection cases do not cause payment delays and are cleared for payment without delay”.
“With over 129,000 farmers making a Basic Payment application across all the schemes, it’s absolutely essential that all farmers are paid on all schemes on time, in line with the deadlines in the Charter,” he said.
In relation to the LPIS review, Brian Rushe stressed that where digitising is required, it cannot hold up payments.
The Deputy President said the timely payments of the ANC advance payments last month was welcome and he also stressed the importance of paying the remaining farmers as soon as they meet their stocking density requirements.
The Department confirmed that they are making ANC payments twice weekly and gave assurances to IFA that the remaining farmers will be paid their advance payment as soon as they meet the required stocking density.
Regarding the BEAM Scheme, IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden again said all monies deducted from farmers ANC payments must be repaid immediately.
“The BEAM Scheme has been very frustrating for farmers, but the latest move by the Dept to clawback money from farmers via their ANC payment has infuriated farmers. Farmers must to be given the opportunity to arrange an extended repayment period and the interest charge must be removed,” he said.
Beef schemes payments under BEEP-S and BDGP will commence in December. Brendan Golden said the majority of farmers have met their requirements for these schemes, and the Dept must look fairly on cases where farmers struggled to get samples to labs by the Oct 1st deadline. Many labs around the country were under substantial pressure and farmers struggled to get labs to take in samples.
He said the viability of suckler farms is heavily reliant on meaningful support payments and this money must be paid on time.
In relation to the 500 (approx.) remaining 2020 GLAS balancing payments, Brian Rushe said it is critical that farmers receive these payments without any further delay. He also stressed the importance of 2021 GLAS payments being paid on time in November without any hold up due to ongoing inspections.
On TAMS, Brian Rushe welcomed the commitment by the Dept to repeat the review of the TAMS reference costings carried out earlier this year.
“This is necessary to keep pace with ongoing rising costs of building work and associated materials such as steel and timber. To ensure farmers receive a grant relative to the cost incurred, this review needs be ready to be for the opening of Tranche 24, which is due to open on November 6th next,” he said.