Following Budget 2019, IFA Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady said there must be no delay in the delivery of direct payments. Minister Creed must ensure that these payments, which play a critical role in supporting farm incomes, arrive on time.
He welcomed the additional allocation of €23m to the ANC scheme for 2019. “This will bring the total allocation to €250m, which is the level it was at pre-recession. IFA will be insisting that new payments are put forward to Brussels without delay. In addition, IFA is demanding that no farmer loses out in the upcoming review of ANCs and that the payment rates reflect the natural handicap. As part of the next CAP Rural Development Plan post-2020 the annual allocation for ANCs must reach €300m,” he said.
In relation to TAMS, Joe Brady again expressed concern that this year’s allocation of €70m will not be spent (the projected spend for the year is €60m). Even if the €70m allocated for 2019 is spent, it leaves a total of €230m unspent, with only one year remaining in the scheme.
He continued, “Minister Creed must come out of denial on this issue, the €395m allocated in the 7-year RDP will not be spent, if the status quo remains. IFA has called for changes to TAMS including; meal bins for the dry stock sector, increasing the standard costs to determine grant aid and adjusting the investment limit for the intensive sectors. Most of all, the bureaucracy around the scheme needs to go.”
On Agri-Environmental Schemes Joe Brady said that the allocation for GLAS at €203m should allow all farmers to be paid on time next year. This combined with Organic payments worth €11m and locally led schemes worth up to €15m, should ensure that environmental schemes play a bigger role in supporting farm incomes next year.
He concluded, “Farm schemes including KT, BDGP, Sheep Welfare, and Horticulture have funding for next year but the important issue for the Minister is to ensure that there are no delays and that red-tape is kept to a minimum.”