70% BPS advance ‘welcome and urgently needed’ – TD

The commitment by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to pay a 70% advance of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to farmers and applicants from next Friday (October 16) has been welcomed by independent TD Carol Nolan.

The TD for Laois-Offaly was speaking as the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) confirmed that the department had provided firm assurances to it on this matter.

Commenting, deputy Nolan said: “There was a good reason that the European Commission decided last year to allow for increased advanced payments to farmers.

“Indeed, moving the advance payment amount from 50% to 70% was a very positive step. It was a recognition of just how important this payment is.

It is now vitally important that all necessary efforts are made to ensure the maximum number of payments are made and that any delays are minimised.

The independent TD highlighted that 2020 so far has been an “exceptionally stressful and challenging time” for farmers, adding that they will need to know that the advance payments will be in their accounts next week.

“We know that under the Farmers’ Charter of Rights, the department has committed to a target of paying 100% of cleared cases and 90% of all applicants in the first week.

“That target must be met this year,” concluded deputy Nolan.