Call for Creed to ‘personally intervene’ on outstanding GLAS payments

The ongoing delays on GLAS payments are “totally unacceptable” and the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has been called on to personally intervene on the issue by the ICMSA.

The Chairperson of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Patrick Rohan, has called for the issue to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

In the region of 10,000 farmers are awaiting GLAS payments.

Rohan said that he believed farmers have been misled in terms of the commitments set out in the Farmers Charter of Rights coupled with the assurances given by the Department at a Farmers’ Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee meeting in mid December that payments would be completed as soon as possible.

He also said the extent of the disappointment was very striking.

GLAS payments were originally due in mid-October but here we are – three months later – and almost a third of applicants are still awaiting payment.

“To say this is clearly outside Farmers Charter commitments is an understatement and the fact that it has been a very financially challenging year for farm families really compounds the disappointment.

“These GLAS participants had factored the payments into their cash flow plan for 2016 and the ongoing delay has caused very considerable stress for many farm families.”

Rohan said that this is ultimately a matter for Minister Creed to intervene on personally and ensure that the massive numbers of outstanding payments are finally made.

On December 24, the Minister announced that 2016 payments under the scheme would begin to issue from that date for participants in the first two tranches of GLAS.

Payments representing 85% of the full year payment for 2016, the first full year of the Scheme, will commence and are expected to reach bank accounts in the coming days.

“These payments worth just under €100m, will give a welcome boost to both the wider rural economy and to individual Scheme participants which will be particularly welcome given the challenges faced by farmers in recent times,” he said.

Further GLAS payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as queries are resolved, he said at the time.