In Basic Payment Scheme cases where payment has yet to be processed, one of the main issues at hand includes the resolution of entitlement-related issues, the Department of Agriculture has said.

Under the Basic Payment Scheme to date, 122,465 applicants have been paid a total amount of €1.162 billion.

In relation to cases where payment has yet to be processed, the other main issue is the provision and finalisation of supporting evidence in relation to ongoing queries in areas such as commonage cases, overclaims and dual claims, it said.

Regular pay runs are in place to prioritise ongoing payments of cases as they become cleared.

Advance payments to farmers under the scheme began on October 17 and balancing payments began issuing from December 1.

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, in December urged farmers who may have outstanding queries from his Department to respond as soon as possible.

“In this way I can ensure the quickest turnaround of cases for payment and it remains my firm intention to ensure that everything possible will continue to be done to ensure that farmers’ payments are processed as efficiently as possible.”

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show that GLAS 2016 payments representing 85% of the full year payment for 2016 have issued to over 19,225 GLAS 1 participants and over 8,135 GLAS 2 participants.

Further payments will continue on an ongoing basis, the Department said. There are 38,000 farmers enrolled in the first two tranches of the scheme, with just over 10,000 farmers yet to receive payment.

The Minister urged participating farmers in December to return any outstanding documentation, including any interim Commonage Management Plans and annual Low Emission Slurry Spreading Declaration Forms as soon as possible to facilitate payment.

In cases where these and any other outstanding issues with individual applications are resolved, payments will issue on an ongoing basis, he said.