Rural Development Council Report September 2020

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Rural Development Council Report September 2020
10 Sep 2020

Rural Development Council Report September 2020

Council Reports, Rural Development Reports

Activity since last National Council

TAMS

  • Approvals under Tranche 17 were issued to around 3,500 farmers in August. Due to the loner tranche period there was a higher than normal application rate of 5,000. 30% of farmers were carried forward to tranche 18 which closed on August 21st.
  • The current tranche 19 closing date has not yet been decided but it is likely to be mid-Oct. IFA is insisting that there must be no delay in approvals for tranche 18 as to date the process is too slow.
  • So far in TAMS around 29,646 approvals for TAMS have been issued. However, 6,000 applicants have not proceeded with their approval. Some may have reapplied.
  • Payment worth €223m has been paid out to 15,958 farmers to date. A further 900 farmers have lodged payment claims
  • When the carryover allocation from TAMS 1 is taken into account, €235m has been spent out of the 2014 – 2020 RDP allocation of €395m.
  • In the 2020 Book of estimates €82.5m is allocated with about €50m paid out to date. It is expected that the full allocation will be paid out by year end. 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

  • IFA is meeting the Department of Agriculture on September 4th.
  • At closing date for BPS 15th May around 129,000 farmers had made application.
  • IFA will be demanding that there is a maximum pay-out to all farmers of the 70% advance the 16th The balancing 30% will be paid out on Dec 1st.
  • IFA dealt with a significant number of queries from farmers who had issues with making application 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. IFA will be monitoring the situation of these cases over the next 2 months.
  • inspections have been taking place for the past few months with 1% of applicants being inspected.
  • IFA had earlier got a commitment that any file that is out for inspection will not hold up payment.
  • There are no changes to the ANC Scheme for 2020. There had been some concerns raised with regard to the stocking rate criteria, however, it would appear that most farmers can comply this year.
  • 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.
  • The 2020 rates of payment do not change and the allocation is of the order of €250m.
  • ANC payments will commence in the week beginning Sept 21st next with a 75% pay-out. The remaining 25% will be paid out in early Dec.
  • ANC payments are worth €250m to nearly 100,000 farmers.
  • The Department’s LPIS review is continuing in counties Meath, Cavan, Longford and Leitrim. IFA is insisting that there is no repeat of last year’s debacle in Co. Louth where there were significant delays in payments due to digitising of maps.

ANC Appeals

  • Farmers in townlands that lost out under the appeal can now take their case up with the Ombudsman office.
  • IFA has requested that information to the unsuccessful townlands is issued by the Department of Agriculture, so that areas know what they can take up with the ombudsman.
  • Of the 315 townlands which have appealed, 72 were successful with 22 townlands coming for the first time.
  • 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, who have previously been included, they will qualify for a 40% payment in 2020 but will get no payment in 2021.

GLAS

  • At this stage 47,679 farmer have got their full 2019 payment. There are still about 600 due their balancing 15% payments for a variety of reasons. The total amount paid out under GLAS for 2019 is €202.58m.
  • The remaining farmers are being paid as problems are being resolved.
  • 2020 payments will commence in early Nov with a 75% payment. The remaining 25% will be paid in May 2021.

EU Transitional Rules

  • EU Transitional proposals have now been passed by the European Parliament and the Council of Minister.
  • However, in the trialogues which also involves the EU Commission, the Commission is insisting on a one-year transition.
  • The transitional rules are vital to allow the continuation of various schemes such as GLAS, TAMS, BDGP, and Sheep Welfare into 2021 or 2022.
  • The Rural Development Committee will be focussing on getting an extension of GLAS 1 for 36,000 whose plans finish at year end and 12,000 GLAS1 farmers whose plans finish at the end of 2021.
  • At the last meeting with the Department of Agriculture IFA insisted that there must be a simple process to transpose plans for 1or 2 years.
  • At the last Rural Development Committee meeting it was agreed that IFA would prioritise this with the new Minister for Agriculture.

Farm Assist/RSS

  • 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% to 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.

Upcoming Events

The Rural Development Committee along with Deputy President Brian Rushe, and Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden, will be meeting the Dept. of Agriculture on Sept 4th to ensure early payout of all 2020 payments.

Chair Michael Biggins
Executive Gerry Gunning
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