Calls for a further extension to superlevy payments

Calls have been made this week for the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney to further extend the 2015 superlevy payment extensions.

ICMSA has appealed to the Minister, to recognise that the arrangements for the upcoming payment of 2015 superlevy need to mirror the current difficulty in the dairy market and that as much flexibility as is possible must be extended to already very hard-pressed dairy farmers.

Gerald Quain, Chairperson of ICMSA Dairy Committee, said that with milk price currently below the cost of production, farmers are already under severe financial pressure and will very definitely struggle to meet the superlevy bills that fall due in the peak months.

ICMSA is calling on the Minister to seek an extension of the current three-year repayment period so that farmers can make the payment over a longer period and thus ease the pressures on cashflow in 2016.

“It’s simply not going to be feasible for very many of those affected where we’re looking at low prices on top of the superlevy repayments. With milk being produced below the cost of production in 2016, we’re appealing to Minister Coveney to seek an immediate extension

“With milk being produced below the cost of production in 2016, we’re appealing to Minister Coveney to seek an immediate extension to the three-year repayment period and provide some level of relief to dairy farmers”, Quain said.

Final bill

The final quota position for put Ireland 4.4% over quota at the end of March 2015 leaving farmers’ final superlevy bill is €71.2m.

This is some €2.2m above the Department’s initial estimate of €69m – calculated on an estimate that Ireland would finish 4.34% over quota.

The 2014/15 and final quota year expired on March 31 last.

Ireland will pay the fourth highest superlevy bill in Europe.

The European total bill has been revised upwards to €868m and the most recent projections for the 13 countries facing a bill, has Ireland fourth on €71.2m.

Superlevy Instalment Scheme

Just under 3,700 dairy farmers applied for the Department of Agriculture‘s Superlevy Instalment Scheme.

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, announced the introduction of a new instalment scheme for dairy farmers, to facilitate staggered payments of the 2015 superlevy bill over the next three years.

The scheme is designed to ease the cash flow burden on dairy farmers, who would otherwise have to pay the entire bill in 2015. It followed the introduction by the European Commission of legislation to allow for such payments to be spread in three annual instalments, without interest.

Milk producers who availed of the scheme were obliged to pay the first one-third of the liability to the Department before October 1, 2015.

The two remaining instalments must be paid by the same date in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Milk producers applied, through their milk purchaser, to participate in the Scheme.