The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced today that over €25m in GLAS balancing payments to over 42,000 farmers in the GLAS scheme will commence this week. The balancing payment represents the final 15% of the 2018 payment and completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken last year. This payment rate is 50% higher than last year in terms of applicants paid.
I welcome this announcement to all farmers, especially the beef and suckler farmers who have struggled over the last number of years due to the cost of running and managing their farms and the price being offered for beef by factories and abattoirs. Beef farming in the west of Ireland has been unsustainable and all payment and supports from the current Government are welcome. There are currently over 1700 GLAS participants in Sligo and 5400 in Mayo.
Commenting on the payments the Minister said; “I am delighted to be commencing these GLAS balancing payments a fortnight earlier than expected to over 42,000 farmers. This will be a significant cashflow assistance to those farmers, particularly suckler farmers who are the majority of GLAS participants”.
The Minister added “This payment of over €42m brings to almost €600m the total payments made to date in respect of GLAS scheme. This comes on top of over 99% of all eligible GLAS participants already being fully up to date with their payments under the scheme. This closes out the payment for actions last year to these participants. Our priority now is to continue to make payments to other applicants as they become eligible and we will continue to make weekly payments”.
The Minister also reminded that there are a small number of cases where GLAS 3 participants have not yet completed their GLAS Training. The Minister encouraged these applicants to undertake the outstanding training required as quickly as possible. All GLAS 3 participants must complete the required training by 31 December 2019 to remain in the Scheme.