IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman Joe Brady has said that the proposal to increase ANC payment rates must be made to the EU Commission in Brussels shortly so that this year’s scheme contains the new payment system.
The proposal follows on from the recent Budget decision to increase the allocation for this year’s scheme by €25m. This will bring the total allocation for the 2018 scheme to €227m.
At the recent IFA AGM, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed confirmed that a proposal must be made to the EU Commission as part of an amendment to the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan.
“The increase in funding is a welcome development and long overdue as payment cuts that were imposed in 2009 have to be reversed. The additional €25m partly restores the cuts but the restoration of the allocation to its original level of €250m must be a priority.” Joe Brady stressed.
Joe Brady has already told Minister Creed that new ANC payment rates must reflect the natural handicap and also take account of the many farmers who lost out to cuts imposed in 2009.
Currently, 95,000 farmers benefit from ANC payments and they play a vital role in supporting farmers on the most difficult land where farm incomes are lowest.