‘No plans to reopen current GLAS’ – Calleary

There are no plans to reopen the current Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, has said.

Speaking in response to a parliamentary question last week, Minister Calleary said that the scheme is “fully subscribed and all funding is committed”.

“This is also the case for our Rural Development Programme [RDP] as a whole and all schemes therein are fully subscribed and the entire €4 billion is committed,” the minister added in response to the question, which was asked by Fianna Fáil Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith.

Minister Calleary instead noted the ‘flagship environmental scheme’ (informally referred to as ‘REPS mark II’) – that was promised in the Programme for Government – as part of the government’s future strategy for agri-environment policy.

“This new scheme will be included in Ireland’s CAP [Common Agricultural Policy] strategic plan and we aim to pilot some elements of this in the transitional phase between the CAP programming periods as well as adopting the best elements of our existing agri-environment schemes,” the minister said.

He noted that “there are a number of variables still undecided, which means it is difficult to be definitive at this stage about the precise details of future schemes”.

Those variables include agreement on a legislative framework for both the next CAP and transitional arrangements before then.

We are pressing hard for the earliest possible adoption of the EU regulations to facilitate the operation of schemes during the transitional period as the first priority. This is to provide some certainty until such time as CAP regulations and associated funding arrangements are agreed.

“As soon as we have this legal certainty, we will provide clarity and engage with all the relevant stakeholders on the next steps,” Minister Calleary added.