Basic Payment Scheme Balancing Payments Commence
Basic Payment Scheme, Young Farmer Scheme and National Reserves payments flow
Senator for Roscommon-Galway, Aisling Dolan has welcomed news that the balancing payments under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening have now commenced.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D. confirmed the commencement of the BPS balancing payments which will bring the total paid under the 2020 Scheme to €1.13 billion to over 121,000 farmers.
The BPS balancing payments total includes €82,153,630 for farmers in Galway and €38,648,250 for farmers in Roscommon. Senator Dolan said the funding would be most welcome in rural communities. ‘This funding will provide support for over 17,000 farming families in Galway and Roscommon coming into Christmas. The balance of payments also include the National Reserve and Young Farmers payments. More information on Suckler Farm payments is due today and Areas of Natural Constraint is due next week”.
The Fine Gael Senator continued: “I know there has been such pressure on farmers with the Level 5 of Covid-19 restrictions and learning new ways to sell cattle at marts with apps. It is still very new for farmers and they have had challenges with applications (apps) such as when capacity didn’t meet demand. With Level 3 restrictions, we have a good two weeks or more for farmers to sell cattle and I wish them the best.”
Senator Dolan said she understands the anxiety of farmers surrounding a ‘no-deal Brexit’ from 1st January 2021 especially in these last few days of negotiation. “In a recent Seanad debate with Minister Coveney on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom Bill, I have highlighted the impact to farming incomes as per the last Teagasc report; a no trade deal could potentially affect 18% of average farm income. The Minister confirmed that Ireland is a priority for access to the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve for the EU27 and that we should be able to draw down from early 2021. Minister Coveney has given everything to these negotiations and we wish him the strongest resolve to achieve the best outcome for Ireland – ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’”.
The Minister stated, “In mid-October my Department began issuing 70% advance payments under the BPS to farmers across the country. This year saw over 97% of eligible farmers receiving an advance payment in the first pay run. Regular pay runs have been in place since October, and I am happy to confirm that the 30% balancing payments under the BPS have now commenced on schedule. My priority is to ensure that payments to support our farm families across the country are issued promptly. I am acutely aware of the importance of the BPS not only to farmers, but also to the overall rural economy. My Department continues to issue payments across a range of schemes at a rate which compares very well to our European counterparts.”
Senator Dolan also welcomed news that payments under the 2020 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also commence alongside payment of the 2020 BPS balancing payment which would play important roles in supporting younger farmers and new entrants. “It will help to ensure the continuity of farming in families,” the Fine Gael Senator said. Minister McConalogue said; “Supporting these farmers encourages generational renewal which is a key priority for this government.”
Regular pay runs will remain in place under the 2020 BPS as further cases are cleared for payment. The Minister urged any farmers who have outstanding queries from the Department to respond as soon as possible in order to facilitate payment. The Minister concluded “the timely processing of payments across schemes remains a key priority for my Department, as I am very aware of the importance of such schemes for the farming community.”
Farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, can ring the Direct Payments Helpline at 076 106 4420. Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie, where a detailed breakdown of payments can also be accessed.
Balancing payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme are scheduled to commence next week.