The issues around GLAS and delays in processing and payments means more farmers can avail of the scheme, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

Speaking about the scheme during his Budget 2015 briefing, he said that the around GLAS are how many people can you get into GLAS and when will people get paid. “We could have let just 7,000 or 10,000 in under the first tranche, but because of what the farming organisations asked for we let in 30,000 farmers.

“There are only 400 planners in Ireland outside of Teagasc. This is a big, big ask, so we’re not going to rush GLAS. We have budgeted for €20m in GLAS payments next year, and it may only be three or four months of payments. But we can’t take in 30,000 farmers and get it done in a few weeks.

“It’s a five-year scheme and we can’t make any payments until people are in the scheme and approved.”  The Minister confirmed that it would be late next year before payments commence.

As regards his Department’s spend this year, he said that it will spend some €405m this year, which will increase to €439m and will continue to increase over the next seven years.

He also said that the taxation review continues with the Department of Finance, as all negotiations were not completed in time for this year’s Budget. “Hopefully we will get them across the line for next year.”