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Minister Smith Announces EU Approval for 50% Advance Payment on the 2010 Single Farm Payment

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, confirmed that agreement was reached in Brussels at the EU Direct Payments Management Committee yesterday afternoon to his request that provision be made for an advance payment in Ireland of the 2010 Single Payment.

The Minister said that he was "very pleased at the positive response of the EU Commissioner to my request and the level of support shown at the Management Committee  meeting". Minister Smith pointed out that today's decision "allows us to go ahead with an advance payment at a rate of 50 per cent from 18th October, to those applicants whose applications have been fully cleared, with the balancing payments being made from 1st December, as provided for in the Regulations".

Minister Smith added that "the record of his Department in processing applications and making advance payments was equal to the best record of any Member State."

The Minister said that "these payments and the payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, which have commenced this week together with the Grassland Sheep Scheme payment (payable in December) will inject almost € 1.5 billion into the Irish rural economy in the coming weeks and would provide a very welcome boost for Irish farm families, particularly at this time of the year".

Date Released: 22 September 2010