Over €12m to be refunded to Irish farmers from today

Payment of €12.4m to approximately 98,000 farmers has commenced today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced.

These monies were deducted from farmers’ 2014 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payments under the Financial Discipline rule.

Minister Creed said that he is pleased to confirm that the Financial Discipline deduction totalling €12.4m from the 2014 SPS payment will now be reimbursed to 2015 applicants.

The Minister added that these payments “will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme since payments commenced in October 2015 to €1.2 billion”.

He also noted that arrangements are at an advanced stage for the issuing of the first instalment of 70% of the 2016 BPS from October 16, and added that the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme saw a further increase in the number of online applications to over 100,000.

“My Department will continue to roll out online applications in 2017 given the range of benefits it brings for farmers.”

Minister Creed urged all farmers to respond as quickly as possible to the query letters which have been issuing in recent weeks to farmers who have an outstanding query on their 2016 BPS application. This will help to further speed up the issuing of payments to farmers, he said.

The Financial Discipline mechanism, which is implemented by the Member States, involves a monetary deduction from some direct payments thereby creating a financial Crisis Reserve for the EU.

The Crisis Reserve is intended to provide additional support for the agricultural sector in the case of major crises affecting agricultural production or distribution, according to the Department.

In the event that the Crisis Reserve is not activated in the financial year, or it is not fully utilised, the balance not used is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year.