31 Jan 2017
IFA RECEIVES ASSURANCES ON GLAS BUT MINISTER MUST SEEK CHANGES AT EU LEVEL TO ALLOW IMMEDIATE PAYMENTSRural Development
Following a protest at the Department of Agriculture in Dublin today, IFA President Joe Healy met with the Department and has received assurances that there will be a weekly run of GLAS payments. IFA has insisted that the numbers paid must be substantial.
Joe Healy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to immediately pursue with the European Commission the IFA proposal that all farmers awaiting GLAS payments are now paid and that any issues surrounding plans would be sorted out later.
In addition, IFA also sought that where particular measures in a GLAS plan are cleared, payments should be made to farmers on these qualifying measures, even where there are issues with other measures in the plan.
At today’s meeting, the Department agreed to communicate with farmers outlining where issues have arisen on their plan.
The IFA protest at the Department of Agriculture today was held on behalf of farmers awaiting payment due under the GLAS Agri-Environment Scheme. Payments under the scheme were due in October, however more than 9,000 farmers have yet to be paid, despite having completed the actions required, incurring significant costs and planning fees in doing so.
Speaking at the protest, Joe Healy said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that farmers who joined the GLAS scheme almost two years ago, and who were promised payments last October are still waiting with no definite answers as to when they can expect to get paid. Farmers have upheld their side of the bargain, complying with the scheme and carrying out actions, at significant cost and effort. The Minister and Department of Agriculture need to show the same level of commitment and ensure that payments are made immediately.”