Rural Development Reports
Rural Development Council Report May 2020
Activity Since last National Council
- IFA has been in constant contact with the Department since restrictions have been imposed.
- Approvals under Tranche 16 were issued to around 2,600 farmers in April. There are still 20% of farmers being carried forward to tranche 17.
- The current tranche 17 closes on June 6th. This closing date was extended by 6 weeks due to restrictions leading to problems for some farmers in making applications. IFA had raised concerns in relation to this extension, as many farmers had expected to start work by mid-year for completion by next winter. IFA is insisting that there must be no delay in approvals being issued later this year.
- IFA secured a concession, that where a farmer does not have full planning permission at close of tranche 17 (June 6th) that the application will be still accepted but that full planning permission must be secured by time of selection assessment which is around mid-July.
- Pre-approval or pre-payment inspections have recommenced since the 18th
- Following the earlier issue to putting in concrete slabs and its definition as essential work, IFA worked closely with many farmers to ensure that work did proceed. Since the lifting of restrictions with regard to general building work, many farm projects are now restarting.
- So far in TAMS around 28,528 approvals for TAMS have been issued. This is an increase of 1,614 over the past 5 weeks. There were no pre approval inspections for this period.
- Payments have been made to 15,178 farmers worth €203.5m so far, with 1,458 farmers paid in the last 6 weeks. The average pay out per week is about €1.5m.
- When the carryover allocation from TAMS 1 is taken into account, €215m has been spent out of the 2014 – 2020 RDP allocation of €395m.
- In the 2020 Book of estimates, €82.5m is allocated, with about €32m paid out to date. There are probably 2 more tranches left under GLAS when the scheme is due to close on 31st Dec next. However, under EU transitional rules IFA will be looking for the scheme to continue into next year.
- In Budget 2021 IFA will be seeking an allocation of €120m.
- The Minister recently announced that the amendment to TAMS would be sought from Brussels to increase the investment limit for pigs and poultry from €80,000 to €200,000.
2020 BPS/ANC Schemes
- At closing date for BPS 15th May around 129,000 farmers had made application.
- IFA dealt with a significant number of queries from farmers who had issues with making application with the Dept. These were all resolved with the Dept.
- IFA had secured concessions on transfer entitlements, whereby signatures will not be required if they can’t be got during the restrictions. These are now being dealt with.
- IFA will be insisting that maximum flexibility will be sought in the current circumstances to ensure all payments are made.
- inspections will commence once the pre checking arrangements are concluded around the 3rd week in June.
- In IFA’s submission to both the EU and Government, we are seeking 100% BPS and Rural Development schemes pay-out on 16th In relation to ANCs, we are looking for 100% pay-out on the 3rd week of September.
- There are no changes to the ANC Scheme for 2020. There have been some concerns raised with regard to the stocking rate criteria but there are no changes at this stage.
- On overall stocking limit of 0.15LU/Ha for a 7- month period and the average of 0.15LU/HA over the 12 -month period, IFA is keeping this under review in the context of COVID-19 restrictions on marts.
- The 2020 rates of payment do not change and the allocation is of the order of €250m.
- The Department’s LPIS review is continuing in counties Meath, Cavan, Longford and Leitrim. Meetings have been deferred.
- The Department issued the results of Independent ANC Appeals Panel in April.
- Of the 315 townlands which have appealed, 72 were successful with 22 townlands coming in for the first time.
- The Department have written to all farmers who appealed. However, for those that were unsuccessful they have not given any detail as to why they were excluded. IFA has called on the Minister to provide this to farmers.
- Areas that were successful having been previously excluded will get full payment restored this year. New areas will get full payment also. For those not successful having previously been in, they will qualify for a 40% payment in 2020 will get no payment in 2021.
- At this stage 45,189 farmer have got their full 2019 payment. There are still about 2,300 due their balancing 15% payments. The total amount paid out under GLAS for 2019 is €200m.
- The remaining farmers are being paid as problems are being resolved.
EU Transitional Rules
EU Transitional proposals have now been passed by the European Parliament and will now go to trialogues between the Commission, the Council and the EP.
They are likely to be agreed in June.
- The Rural Development Committee will be focussing on getting an extension of GLAS 1 & 2 plans for at least another year or 2 (depending on agreement on the next CAP), TAMS, BDGP, Sheep Welfare, and ANC’s.
- At the last Rural Development Committee meeting held April 30th it was agreed that IFA would prioritise this issue in current Government formation talks.
- IFA has been in touch with the Department of Social Protection with regard to the assessment process for Farm assist.
- While restrictions are in place assessments will be done at DSP office level. The same situation will exist for Appeals.
- IFA has also called for an easier assessment process to take account of the severe income crisis on farms as result of the restrictions and the fall in cattle prices.
- Currently there are 6,000 farmers on Farm assist.
- On RSS 3,200 farmers are having their payments maintained at existing levels.
- In Budget 2021 IFA will be seeking an increase in the farm income disregard from 30% t0 50%.
EU/COPA Developments on CAP
- IFA is engaging with COPA and the EU commission on various aspects of CAP such as the transitional regulations, relaxation of BPS rules including inspections, applications dates and earlier payment dates for 2020 schemes.
- Ongoing dialogue with the Department of Agriculture to ensure a case is made to Brussels on changes to GLAS, ANC and TAMS schemes.
Charter of Rights meeting on June 4th.