Department clarifies GLAS payments issue

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has clarified the most recent development regarding GLAS payments for 2016.

According to the Department, 33,200 participants – which accounts for 91% of overall participants – have been paid their 85% advance payment for 2016. The 15% balancing payment is due in June.

The Department stated that the total amount paid up to now is €118m.

3,600 farmers have not received payment yet. According to the Department, of the farmers unpaid, direct contact has been made with about 1,500. Queries have been raised with them and a response from the farmer or adviser is required, before further advancements can be made.

The Department said: “We gave a commitment that by the end of April we will have paid all the cleared cases. Payments are issued on a weekly basis, as cases are cleared.

We are working through all the remaining unpaid cases and are arranging to make contact with these farmers by the end of the month.

This confirms the news that the Department had reportedly given such a promise at a meeting of the Farmers’ Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee in Portlaoise, Co. Laois on April 6.

Also Read: Farmer frustration at ‘boiling point’ over delay in GLAS payments

This comes in the wake of comments made by the IFA’s Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady, that farmers were at their wits’ end over the delay in GLAS payments. IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy had previously said that the “debacle of GLAS payments had set a very bad tone for farmers’ confidence in the payments system”.

The news of the Department confirming its pledge to ensure that all outstanding 85% GLAS payments will be completed by the end of the month should go someway to alleviate farmer concerns on the issue. Of course, it will not mitigate all concerns until the commitment has been fulfilled.