FF calls for GLAS balancing payment to be brought forward to help farmers
31 March 2020
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to bring forward the balancing payment for GLAS participants considering cash flow difficulties farmers are experiencing due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Deputy McConalogue said, “Minister Creed should bring forward the balancing payment for participants of the GLAS scheme. It is currently expected the payment would be issued to approximately 48,000 participants this May. Given the national public health emergency and cashflow problems farmers are beginning to experience it is important the Minister brings this payment forward.
“While the remaining 15% of the payment is normally made following successful inspections of lands eligible under the scheme these are extraordinary times for the farming community and require extraordinary supports. The farming sector is approaching a time of year when costs run high for farmers. Fertiliser has to be bought before cattle return to the grass. There are a number of other costs associated as we move into the summer season.
“Farmers are already running into cashflow problems. I am aware of credit being restricted by merchants due to concerns about the ability of farmers to repay short term credit given the global uncertainty due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“We need intervention from the European Union and Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski. The Commissioner needs to immediately implement support measures that fall under their exclusive competence as provided for under the CAP’s Common Market Organisation Regulation. These measures cover market disturbance funding, and exceptional aid measures under Articles 219 & 221. Intervention and aid to private storage measures need to be introduced without delay in order to stabilise meat and dairy prices over the coming weeks.
“We need substantive action from Europe and here at home from government. Cashflow difficulties are being faced by farmers right now and one immediate step that Minister Creed must take to provide some assistance to farmers is securing approval for GLAS balancing payments to commence immediately,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.