IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has insisted to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that all farmers due a GLAS payment can have that payment made if he is prepared to pay farmers on the measures in their plan which have been cleared prior to the resolution of issues relating to any other measures.
Joe Brady said that in many of the outstanding cases, a substantial part of the plan is approved, bar some technical issues relating to IT or administrative issues. The Minister can and should allow the payment to proceed on such cases, Joe Brady said.
The Rural Development Chairman said 2,200 farmers are still to be paid and there is no doubt that the saga of delayed payments must not be repeated later in the year when all 50,000 farmers are due a GLAS payment.
Joe Brady said 2,500 GLAS+ farmers, mainly in hen harrier and other designated area sites, have now received their long overdue 85% advance payment under GLAS 1 and GLAS 2. It is now important, he said, that the remaining 15% payment is made without any delay, as well as the remaining 15% payment to all GLAS farmers. The 15% payment is worth around €25m to farmers in the GLAS scheme.
IFA President Joe Healy will meet Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed next Wednesday to press for the conclusion of the GLAS debacle and to unlock the problems holding up TAMS payments to 500 farmers.
Joe Brady reminded that any farmer who has been asked to respond to a query from the Department should ensure that either they or their planner responds quickly to help to move their payment forward.