IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to allow the 2,500 Tier 3 GLAS applicants into the scheme.
Speaking at a meeting of IFA’s National Rural Development Committee in Dublin this week, Flor McCarthy said it is unacceptable that these farmers are being left high and dry by the Minister, particularly as these low income farmers are very dependent on direct payments such as GLAS.
By refusing to allow these farmers into the scheme, the Minister has backtracked on a commitment that he made at Budget time that at least 13,000 farmers would be allowed into the scheme.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that in the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 it is envisaged that 50,000 farmers would join the GLAS scheme. At this stage nearly 38,000 farmers will be in the scheme. Telling the 2,500 farmers that they can apply later in the year for the next phase of GLAS will result in these farmers getting no payment at all in 2016.
Flor McCarthy called on the Minister to reverse this decision and to allow all 14,000 farmers who applied in the first phase of GLAS into the scheme.