Minister is asked to clear GLAS hold-up

Minister Michael Creed: Apply early.
Minister Michael Creed: Apply early.

MINISTER for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has been called upon to directly intervene and clear the way for outstanding payments to be made to GLAS farmers still waiting for their money since December 19 last.

Galway IFA Chairman, Pat Murphy, said that after such a bad year in farming, it simply wasn’t good enough to have 10,000 farmers waiting for their money because of ‘computer, technical and administrative problems’.

He said that the unpaid farmers had already incurred significant costs to meet the terms and conditions of the GLAS scheme and still ‘hadn’t received a bob from the Department’.

“This money was due to be paid out from December 19 last but for 10,000 farmers, the wait still goes on. We’re now halfway through January and still the money hasn’t come through,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that some of the hold-ups concerned partnerships – something that would send out a very poor signal in terms of such arrangements into the future.

“On a more positive note, it now seems probable that the 14,000 farmers who applied to get into GLAS 3 will be accepted into the scheme, bringing the total number of farmers participating to 52,000.

IFA National Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady, said that even with the inclusion of the 14,000 farmers in GLAS 3, there was still plenty of scope for payments to be made within the €250m per year allocation in the Regional Development Programme.

“We also want to ensure that GLAS 3 farmers will be notified of their acceptance into the scheme before the end of January, 2017. This will allow full year payments to be made later in the year,” said Joe Brady.