IFA SETS OUT PRIORITIES TO TACKLE PAYMENT DELAYS

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IFA SETS OUT PRIORITIES TO TACKLE PAYMENT DELAYS
19 Feb 2011

IFA SETS OUT PRIORITIES TO TACKLE PAYMENT DELAYS

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At a meeting of the Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee this week, IFA President John Bryan set out the priorities to avoid a repeat of the payment delays across all schemes which farmers had to endure in 2010. “Last year’s delays caused serious financial difficulties on thousands of farms, which must not be repeated in 2011.”
 
Mr Bryan said, “It is vitally important that the Charter and Payment Protocol are updated in advance of the Single Farm Payment application date of mid-May so that payments can be made to all farmers when they are due.”
 
The IFA President identified a number of commitments which must be made to address last year’s problems. These include:
 
<span>·<span>         </span></span>all payments within agreed deadline;
<span>·<span>         </span></span>simplified applications and an increase in online applications, including maps;
<span>·<span>         </span></span>better co-ordination and timetable for processing applications, queries, digitisation and Department inspections;
<span>·<span>         </span></span>reduced level of inspections and where they do take place, farmers must be notified in advance. The inspection system must not delay payments;
<span>·<span>         </span></span>fair and reasonable tolerances must be in place.
 
Concluding, Mr Bryan said, “The direct payments, which include SFP, Disadvantaged Areas, REPS, AEOS, Suckler Cow, Sheep Grassland Scheme and forestry play a crucial role in underpinning production and supporting farm income. Any delay in payments can have a severe effect on cashflow and consequently farm income. A new Charter must be able to tackle the issues which arose in 2010 to allow payments to flow when due.”

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