IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe has called on Minister McConalogue to revisit his plan to delay payments to farmers in 2023, instead of trying to move the debate onto the 2024 dates.
“The Minister’s commitment to review the dates for 2024 onwards rings hollow. He is not willing to revisit his plans to delay payments in 2023 and is instead putting his head in the sand and trying to move the conversation onto 2024,” he said.
The Department’s plan means ANC payments would be pushed out by four weeks and the Basic Payment pushed back by two weeks.
“Any delay in farm payments this year is 100% because of unilateral action and poor planning by the Minister and his Department. The Minister told us he couldn’t change Ireland’s CAP strategic plan because he needed to get it to Brussels so that it would be ready to get payments out on time for 2023. Yet the payments are now going to be delayed.” he said.
“For many farmers, their payments will be lower and now they will be later. The Dept did a solo run on this, and now the Minister needs to front up and solve it. They seem to have no concept of the importance of these payments or the impact any delay will have on farm families, particularly this year when cash reserves will be tight on many farms as revenues fall and input costs remain stubbornly high,” he said.
IFA cannot accept any delay in farm payments, particularly the ANC payment. These delays seem to be because of internal Department constraints rather than any EU requirement.
“It’s just not acceptable that the Minister seems happy enough to stand by and offload Dept issues onto farm families, offering only to review 2024 payments as some form of solace,” he said. “A commitment to review isn’t a commitment on anything. We need 2023 farm payments to revert to what they always have been,” he concluded.