Minister ‘made no decision’ to hold back ANC payments

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, made no decision to hold back Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payments to December.

Confirming this to AgriLand a spokesperson for the minister was responding to claims by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) earlier today, Thursday, August 29, that Minister Creed had decided to hold back 15% of ANC payments, which it described as a “blow to farmers”.

Speaking on the matter, IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy claimed: “Normally, 100% payment is made in September.

“However, the Minister [for Agriculture Michael Creed] has decided to pay only 85% next month and hold the remaining 15% until December 1.”

Claiming that this will result in over €35 million not getting to farmers until December, Kennedy said the matter is a blow to 100,000 farmers, who expected the full payment next month.

However, the minister’s spokesperson outlined that the move was not down to a decision by Minister Creed; rather it is due to changes in EU regulations specifying that payments under ANC will be paid in two instalments this year.

In addition, it was also highlighted that the 85% payment is being made early rather than the 15% being delayed.

In Minister Creed’s announcement earlier this week, it was highlighted that the budget for the ANC Scheme has increased to €250 million for this year.