The continuing delays in GLAS payments are throwing farm finances into chaos and represent a clear breach of the terms of the Farmers’ Charter of Rights, according to Patrick Rohan of the ICMSA.

Rohan, the chairperson of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, said GLAS farmers were banking on the payment due in late October/early November.

“The terms of the Farmers’ Charter of Rights states ‘payment of up to 75% will commence the third week of October and payment of 25% balance to commence when all inspections are completed, normally mid-December’.

“GLAS farmers were banking on the payment being made punctually so as the relieve the pressure being experienced in terms of cash-flow after what all commentators agree has been nearly two years of unprecedented income pressures and challenges.”

Rohan said that 2016 represents the first full year payment on the scheme which many GLAS farmers had applied for as far back as May 2015.

There’s massive annoyance at the off-hand and casual way that the terms of the Farmers’ Charter are being breached here.

“GLAS involved often very considerable costs such as planning fees, compliance costs and income foregone.

“We feel perfectly entitled to call on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to intervene and ensure that the payments overdue to all GLAS farmers are made immediately.”

The Farmers’ Charter of Rights 2015-2020 was agreed following discussions with the farming organisations.

It sets out specific delivery targets to farmers and covers a range of schemes including GLAS, the Basic Payment Scheme and Beef Data Genomics Programme.

Progress under the Charter is to be monitored by a review committee under an independent chairman, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The committee is comprised of representatives of farm organisations and Department of Agriculture staff.