Farmer frustration at ‘boiling point’ over delay in GLAS payments

Farmer frustration has reached ‘boiling point’ over the delay in GLAS payments, according to the IFA’s Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady.

He has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to show his commitment to farmers in GLAS by making all outstanding payments without any further delay.

Brady has asked Minister Creed to clarify when the 3,800 farmers, who are still awaiting their GLAS payment, will be paid.

He also reminded the Minister of the commitment, that was reportedly made by his Department at the recent Charter of Rights meeting, that all outstanding payments would be made at the end of April.

The commitment was allegedly given at the beginning of the month, when a little over 4,000 people were awaiting payments.

GLAS payments were originally meant to be completed in December 2016, but serious delays have since been encountered.

Minister Creed has previously said that the payments are being worked through as quickly as possible and that weekly pay runs are being issued.

Since the start of the year, 5,000 farmers have received the 85% GLAS payment; on top of the 28,000 farmers who were paid before the end of 2016, according to the IFA.

Based on these figures, the GLAS payments debacle is set to drag on for a considerable amount of time, Brady said.

“This means that, on average, a little over 300 farmers have been paid per week and, at this rate of payment, it will be another three months before all cases are sorted out.

This is just not acceptable and Minister Creed needs to step up to the mark to sort out this debacle and to tell farmers when they will be paid.

The IFA estimates that €40m is still owed to GLAS farmers for 2016. This includes the 3,800 farmers who are still due their payments, the 33,000 farmers who got partial payments who are still owed the final 15% payments, as well as the GLAS+ payments for 3,000 farmers.