In the region of 100,000 farmers are set to benefit from a BPS refund of over €21.7m.
That is according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who, today (Friday, July 1st, 2022) announced the commencement of payments.
The DAFM deducted the money from the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under Financial Discipline.
It is now reimbursing the money to farmers in line with the EU regulations.
In a statement, Minister McConalogue stated:
“I am pleased to confirm that these payments are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers.”
“These payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.183 billion.”
Previous BPS refund
Last year, the DAFM issued payments of over €13.35 million in the form of a BPS refund to approximately 100,000 farmers.
These payments brought the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.194 billion.
Farm Assist Change
In other news, the Department of Social Protection has introduced what Minister Heather Humphreys has described as “major” changes to the Farm Assist Means Test.
She has signed regulations, relating to the means-tested payment for low-income farmers, which she believes, will benefit thousands.
She has introduced a new income disregard which will ensure farmers who avail of agri-environmental schemes will not see their social welfare payments impacted.
As a result of these changes, the department will apply an income disregard to its:
- Farm Assist;
- Jobseeker’s Allowance;
- State (Non-Contributory) Pensions.
The government hopes that introducing an income disregard under these schemes will incentivise more farmers to participate, in line with its climate change objectives.
Grants under these agricultural schemes benefit from the maximum disregard of €2,450, with the remaining balance assessed at 50%.
For example, a farmer who receives a grant of €2,000 would not see their social welfare payment impacted whatsoever.
Read more on this news story.