IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe has received assurances from the Department of Agriculture that the 70% advance on the Basic Payment Scheme will commence on Fri, October 16th next.
Speaking at a Charter of Rights meeting with the Department today, the IFA Deputy President said, “It’s absolutely essential there’s no delay in payments this year. All farmers must be paid their advance BPS on Friday week. It’s critical that advance payments on uncompleted inspection cases are made next week, as previously agreed”.
On the LPIS review, IFA again strongly emphasised there cannot be a repeat of last year’s delays. Brian Rushe also reiterated that with over 129,000 farmers making a Basic Payment application across all the schemes and the severe income problems from the COVID-19 crisis this year, it is absolutely essential that all farmers are paid on all schemes on time in line with the deadlines in the Charter.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins 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.
Michael Biggins also stressed the importance of GLAS payments on time in November without any hold up due to ongoing inspections.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said that any issues with the BDGP scheme must be resolved and payments to farmers must be paid without delay in December.
The Department confirmed that 28,095 farmers have applied for the COVID-19 Beef Finisher Payment (BFP) equating to approximately €46m. Brendan Golden called on the Dept to include cattle slaughtered in Northern Ireland.
In relation to TAMS, the Department confirmed that Tranche 19 will close on October 30th and Tranche 20 will close on Dec 31st. Brian Rushe reiterated there cannot be any delays in getting tranche 17 approvals out to farmers to allow them to commence the work without delay.
Brian Rushe also said that flexibility must be given to farmers to meet deadlines as the construction industry has had interruptions due to COVID-19.
The Dept confirmed that inspections are continuing in line with COVID-19 HSE guidelines and the inspectors will adhere to HSE protocol with regard to social distancing; mask wearing; and posting the follow up paper work to the farmer.