IFA President Eddie Downey, has told the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, that farmers must get a meaningful GLAS payment in 2015.
At a pre-Budget meeting in Dublin today with the Minister, Eddie Downey told the Minister that farmers must be allowed to join the GLAS scheme later this year and that the contract start date must be from an early date in 2015 so that a significant payment can be made in the GLAS plan later in the year.
The IFA President said that farmers must be given sufficient time to apply for the scheme and that whatever barriers exist to entering the scheme must be removed.
Planners must be trained on the application process and the Department of Agriculture on-line system must be used as a mechanism to get the maximum number of farmers into the scheme with the minimum of red-tape. The Department of Agriculture must properly resource the administration and assessment of GLAS applications so that farmers can be approved quickly to get a meaningful payment next year.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said, “There are 17,000 farmers leaving REPS this year, with thousands more having exited in 2013. These farmers depend greatly on environmental payments and they expect the Minister to provide a significant payment in 2015 to the 30,000 farmers who will join the scheme next year under the new RDP.”
Continuing, Flor McCarthy said, “Capital expenditure is critically important for the continued development of agriculture, and provides a measurable boost to economic activity. There is a requirement for an ambitious programme of on-farm investment across all sectors through the TAMS, with additional capital funding required for the horticulture, forestry and aquaculture sectors, all of which are contributing to increased employment”.
IFA Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle said, “the agri-taxation review, which will be published on Budget day, must provide a roadmap for addressing the structural challenges in farming and achieving the growth potential of the sector. Taxation measures to address income volatility, encourage lifetime transfer, promote on-farm investment, and increase land mobility must be a central element of the Budget”.