A significant acceleration of GLAS payments is needed in the near future, according to the IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady.

Brady believes the process must speed up or it will be months before cases are cleared, with the most recent pay run confirmed to have gone ahead last week.

“Payments made late last week to 323 farmers represent some progress but the numbers paid in each run need to increase substantially.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that farmers who joined the GLAS scheme almost two years ago, and who were promised payments last October are still waiting with no definite answers as to when they can expect to get paid,” he said.

Brady called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to immediately pursue with the European Commission the IFA proposal that all farmers awaiting GLAS payments are now paid.

Under this IFA proposal, any issues surrounding plans could be sorted out at a later date once the payments had been completed.

In addition, IFA has urged the Department that where particular measures in a GLAS plan are cleared, payments should be made to farmers on these qualifying measures, even where there are issues with other measures in the plan.

IFA Protests Over Delay in GLAS payments

These calls for an acceleration in GLAS payments follow on from an IFA protest, led by President Joe Healy, on behalf of farmers awaiting overdue payments last week.

More than 9,000 farmers have yet to be paid, despite having completed the actions required, incurring significant costs and planning fees in doing so, Healy said at the protest.

Farmers have upheld their side of the bargain, complying with the scheme and carrying out actions, at significant cost and effort.

“The Minister and Department of Agriculture need to show the same level of commitment and ensure that payments are made immediately.

“We have seen a situation where 30% of the farmers that signed up to this scheme have not been paid, that’s not acceptable,” he added.