70% advance payments confirmed for mid-October

It has been confirmed that 70% advance Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening payments will be issued to farmers from October 16.

The news that the European Commission has agreed to a request that provision be made for an advance payment of the 2017 BPS and Greening was welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

He said: “I am very pleased that this allows us to make advance payments – at a rate of 70%, rather than the standard rate of 50% provided for under EU legislation – to those applicants whose applications are confirmed fully clear, with effect from 16 October, with balancing payments being made with effect from December 1.”

There will also be an increase permitted to the advance payment for Pillar II Rural Development schemes, according to the department.

The rate is set to be increased up to a possible 85%, for those schemes where advance payments will be made before the end of the year, it added.

Minister Creed explained that his approach and request to the Agriculture Commissioner had been prompted by the market difficulties being experienced in several sectors – arising from ongoing currency fluctuations and protracted poor weather conditions.

I am acutely aware of the significance to farmers and the wider rural economy of the Basic Payment, and I am also mindful of the ongoing market difficulties.

“These payments and the payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, which have commenced this week, would inject in excess of €800 million into the Irish rural economy in the coming weeks and would provide a very welcome boost for Irish farm families – particularly at this time of the year.

“I can assure all concerned that my officials will do all that’s needed to ensure the maximum number of applicants receive their advance payment at the earliest possible date subject to the necessary requirements of the schemes being met,” Minister Creed concluded.

Last year the department also received European approval to issue an advance payment of 70% in mid-October. Similar action was also taken in Northern Ireland.