GLAS balancing payments must be issued immediately – McConalogue
14 April 2020
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD has said the Minister for Agriculture needs to pay GLAS balancing payments immediately and that it is unacceptable that there has not yet been any support to help farmers deal with income pressures resulting from the COVD-19 restrictions.
He said, “There is an urgent need for Minister Creed to bring forward the GLAS balancing payments to approx. 48,000 farmers waiting on them. We are in an unprecedented situation. The restrictions in place have had a big impact on farmers and will continue to do so as they are extended to May 5th.
“It is an important time of the year on farms, but this period is expensive. Many farmers are experiencing cashflow difficulties. There is an anxiety from lenders to provide short term credit to farmers over their ability to repay loans given the global uncertainty in the Agri-food sector. Bringing forward the GLAS balancing payments will ease some of the financial pressure farmers are under.
“We need intervention at home and from Europe. I have repeatedly made calls that the EU Commission should implement support measures for those in the Agri-sector. Commissioner Wojciechowski can implement steps to support farmers, including exceptional aid measures and steps to cover market disturbance funding.
“We also need to see aid to private storage measures introduced from Europe without delay in order to stabilise meat and dairy prices over the coming weeks.
“No one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will last. We do know the economic impact will last a long time in almost all sectors. This is why it is vital Minister Creed brings forward the GLAS balancing payment and pursue supports from Europe urgently,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.