IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary has welcomed the agreement this week at an EU Commission Management Committee on the 3-year extended payment scheme to help farmers pay their superlevy fine without the additional cost of interest.
He urged Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to set out urgently the detailed arrangements so that Irish dairy farmers and co-ops could avail of and operate the scheme without delay.
“The Commissioner’s proposal is for a three-year payment term for superlevy fines, which is to be interest-free to farmers. It will allow farmers to pay 1/3 of their bill in 2015, with the remaining 2 thirds payable in 2016 and 2017, free of financing costs. The scheme provides that the cost and administration of financing it would be left to Member States,” Mr O’Leary said.
“At this point, we need an urgent announcement by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the DAFF services of how the scheme will operate for Irish dairy farmers,” he said.
“We also need co-ops to take early stock of their and their suppliers’ superlevy situation, so that no more than one-third of the liability is collected from any farmer in 2015. This will involve a variety of approaches, as different co-ops had developed different superlevy collection strategies, some having already built in extended payment terms. However, the result in all cases must be a fair and equitable redesign of their superlevy collection plans to ensure all farmers can benefit optimally from this new, cost-free, three-year payment term option,” he concluded.