Department rules out extension to BPS applications

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has said that it will not be seeking an extension to the May 15 deadline for receiving applications under the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS).

Yesterday, Tuesday, March 17, the European Commission confirmed that EU member states would be given the option of extending the application deadline by one month to June 15.

Today, in a statement to AgriLand, a department spokesperson confirmed that: “The department does not consider that it would be in the best interest of farmers to seek an extension of time for the submission of BPS applications.

Any delay in applications for the BPS will inevitably have a knock-on impact on the timing of payments, particularly in circumstances where administrative systems are stretched because of Covid-19.

“This year, it will be more important than ever that the payments upon which farm livelihoods depend are made on time. It will be a priority for the department to maintain all of the administrative and regulatory systems necessary to achieve that objective,” the spokesperson added.

The department also confirmed that, as of today, it has received 18,700 BPS applications – 900 more than the same day last year.

The department is asking its customers to use phone and email for queries, if at all possible.

BSP clinics will be scheduled in April and May, subject to advice and guidelines from the Health Service Executive (HSE).