BPS payment delays
The ICSA has called on the DAFM to resolve delays relating to the issuing of BPS payments.
The organisation has received “a lot of reports from farmers – a lot more than would be normal” – who are still awaiting BPS payments more than two weeks after the DAFM commenced the initial pay run.
Minister Charlie McConalogue announced the commencement of advance payments under the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) on October 18th, 2021.
The DAFM confirmed, in a statement at the time, that it would issue advance payments under the BPS, worth €738 million to 114,600 farmers.
The BPS advance payment commenced at a rate of 70%, an increase on the 50% regulations normally permits.
In the statement, Minister McConalogue said issuing payments as quickly as possible “is a key priority of mine”.
BPS payment delays
ICSA president, Dermot Kelleher, called on the DAFM to “urgently address” the delay.
The farm leader said this is “causing enormous difficulties for those affected and needs to be sorted”.
He claimed that “the problem is further compounded by the fact that farmers cannot get answers from the department as to what is causing the delays”.
“Every farmer knows that it is difficult to get through to the relevant department person at the best of times. However, it would appear things have got even worse.”
“It’s just not good enough to be left in limbo when it comes to such an important payment.”
“The department needs to come clean on just how many basic payments are outstanding, why this has happened, and what they intend to do about it.”
Kelleher also insisted that all DAFM offices should fully reopen to farmers.
“The majority of Covid-related flexibilities afforded to farmers have now been lifted.”
“It cannot be one rule for farmers and another rule for department staff. If it is being demanded of farmers that they get back to normal – despite the ongoing pandemic – then all regional DAFM offices must reopen their doors to the public.”