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Minister Coveney sets the record straight on Direct Payments 99% of Single Payment Applicants to be paid in full by December

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today clarified the position with regard to direct payments to Irish farmers.  He stated that "the delivery of direct payments would be much quicker this year and that Irish farmers would be receiving their payments well before many of their EU counterparts".

To emphasise this point he added that "Ireland pays its Least Favoured Areas (LFAs) and Single Farm (SPS) payments earlier than most Member States and the 2011 payment situation is well in advance of this time in 2010. To date €169m has been paid in LFAs to 78,000 farmers - this is €45m ahead of the 2010 position". The first possible legal date for the transmission of the Single Payment is 16th October under EU rules (the payment window is October 2011 to June 2012). As of today he added "a minimum of 94,000 farmers will be paid €444m in the week starting 17th October - this is €46m more than was paid at the same time last year. These figures will increase in the meantime as my Department continues to clear cases".

He reminded farmers of the need to assist his Department by replying to all correspondence as quickly as possible and to deal with issues such as over-claims, and to provide evidence of stocking density to help speed up the payments process. Minister Coveney was confident that "with cooperation and patience almost €1,5bn will be paid in full to 99% of applicants by end of December - the month when most Member States only start their payments". The Minister said that substantial payments will also issue under AEOS and REPS before the end of the year and that grants payments under TAMS would be made without delay once claims in respect of completed projects have been submitted. The resolution of the outstanding issues in relation to AEOS 1 and REPS is well advanced to enable payments to take place or, where queries arise, to enable farmers to be informed so that any necessary action can be taken.

Date Released: 07 October 2011