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Minister Smith Confirms Further Progress on 2010 Single Farm Payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that the balancing payments under the Single Payment Scheme are on target to begin issuing as and from 1 December. "I am very pleased to say that these payments will be issuing as scheduled, particularly given the very ambitious payments targets I set for my Department in early October" the Minister said, noting that each of the payment target dates set out at that stage had been achieved.

"However, I am particularly pleased to announce that, in addition to issuing balancing payments to those farmers whose applications are fully processed and whose maps are fully digitised, payments will also issue to those farmers where some or all of their maps are still to be digitised, with the payment being calculated on the basis of the digitised land confirmed otherwise eligible" the Minister said. "Because of this decision, which I made following consultation with the EU Commission many farmers, whose balancing payments would otherwise have been delayed until their digitising is complete, will now receive payment. I estimate that the net effect will be additional payments worth in excess of €100 million issuing in the early days of December" he added.

The Minister confirmed that the payment arrangements for the Single Payment balances will be as follows:

  • From 1 December all applicants will be paid their full balancing payments, where the case is fully processed and clear;
  • Applicants, whose applications are fully clear, where the only outstanding issue is a non-digitised map(s), will be paid 80% of their balancing payment on the clear,  digitised area  (excluding their non-digitised land);
  • These farmers will receive the final instalment of their balancing payment when their maps are re-digitised and their applications are fully clear.

The Minister confirmed that payments made, to date, total some €716 million, comprising €535 million under the Single Payment Scheme and a further €181 million under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. "In reality, in excess of 113,000 farmers have received payment under the Single Farm Payment, while in excess of 90,000 have received payment under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme" the Minister noted.

"I am determined that this momentum will be maintained and that the maximum numbers of farmers will receive their full payments as the earliest possible date" the Minister said, adding "However, I must again take the opportunity to emphasise the absolute urgency in getting Ireland's mapping system fully accurate and up-to-date, given its pivotal role as the bedrock underpinning all the area-based schemes operated by my Department, under which payments worth in excess of €1.8 billion are made annually. To this end, the initiative I took earlier this year in urging all farmers to map out ineligible areas was crucial and, given the overwhelming response, absolutely vital".

Date Released: 10 November 2010