Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister to extend the October 31st deadline for submission of commonage management plans (CMP) under the GLAS scheme.
The online application process only went live in late September, leaving farmers with very little time to lodge their submission.
Deputy McConalogue said, “I am urging Minister Creed to extend the October 31st deadline given the very short window open to farmers to submit these plans online. He must also ensure that there are no delays to the advanced payment for commonage farmers who have enrolled in GLAS.
“The Minister cannot ignore the fact that the issues relating to the application process are beyond the control of commonage farmers. The online system only became operational from late September, while the submission button only went live on October 12th. There have also been reports of difficulties logging into the online system.
“Farmers are only being given 2 weeks to submit their commonage management plans. Around 9,000 farmers could be affected, and unfortunately the Minister is failing to recognise the IT shortcomings within his own Department. Once again we are seeing farmers penalised for issues that are beyond their control. It’s deeply unfair.
“I am calling on Minister Creed to reassess his decision and extend the October deadline to ensure that all commonage farmers can submit their plans and receive their advanced 2017 payment on time”.