The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., today confirmed that the balancing payments under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening have now commenced.
The commencement of the BPS balancing payments will bring the total paid under the 2020 Scheme to €1.13 billion to over 121,000 farmers.
The Minister stated, “In mid-October, my Department began issuing 70% advance payments under the BPS to farmers across the country. This year saw over 97% of eligible farmers receiving an advance payment in the first pay run. Regular pay runs have been in place since October, and I am happy to confirm that the 30% balancing payments under the BPS have now commenced on schedule. My priority is to ensure that payments to support our farm families across the country are issued promptly. I am acutely aware of the importance the BPS not only to farmers, but also to the overall rural economy. My Department continues to issue payments across a range of schemes at a rate which compares very well to our European counterparts.”
The Minister also confirmed that payments under the 2020 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also commence alongside payment of the 2020 BPS balancing payment.
The Minister commented, “I am pleased that payments under the National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme are also being issued as both payments play really important roles in supporting younger farmers and new entrants. Supporting these farmers encourages generational renewal which is a key priority for this government.”
Regular pay runs will remain in place under the 2020 BPS as further cases are cleared for payment. The Minister urged any farmers who have outstanding queries from the Department to respond as soon as possible in order to facilitate payment. The Minister concluded “the timely processing of payments across schemes remains a key priority for my Department, as I am very aware of the importance of such schemes for the farming community.”
Farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, can ring the Direct Payments Helpline at 076 106 4420. Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie, where a detailed breakdown of payments can also be accessed.
Balancing payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme are scheduled to commence next week.
Note for Editors:
Financial Discipline Reduction from the 2020 BPS Balancing Payment
Following recent negotiations at EU level in relation to the EU Budget, the financial discipline rate to apply to this years BPS balancing payments has been set at 2.9%. The rate has increased this year in order to account for a reduction in the overall ceiling allocated to Ireland for the financial year 2021. Similar ceiling adjustments have been put in place across all Member States. The financial discipline rate in 2019 was 1.43%.
This increased financial discipline rate is nw being applied to the 2020 BPS balancing payments. A breakdown of each individual’s payment details is available via www.agfood.ie and on remittance slips that issue.
Financial discipline is applied to direct payments each year. It is does not apply to farmers whose direct payments are €2,000 or less. In general, the financial discipline is used to fund the crisis reserve held centrally at EU level. This year, financial discipline will include both this crisis reserve element, and a further deduction to take account of the adjustment to the ceiling for the 2021 financial year.