€100 MILLION FUND MUST BE DISTRIBUTED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

29 JULY 2019

ICSA president Edmond Phelan has welcomed clarification on the division of the €100m fund in Beef Exceptional Aid Measures, saying that the objective now must be to get the money to farmers promptly. “The money must be distributed as quickly as possible. We are disappointed that EU funding rules say it can’t be paid until 16 October, but we see this as the latest acceptable date for funds to arrive in farmers’ accounts. The beef trade is deteriorating every week and this fund is only a drop in the ocean compared to the losses being sustained by farmers.”

Mr Phelan said he was disappointed that the upper limit for finishers has remained at 100 head of cattle. “Losses for those who sold above that number during the timeframe will be significant. If however the scheme is under subscribed, ICSA will be pushing to see that the maximum payment is increased accordingly.”

Mr Phelan also noted that certain terms and conditions attached to the scheme remain problematic, most notably, the requirement to reduce by 5% the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen per herd. “Progress with this will have to be monitored closely to ensure that compliance with this measure is achieved and we have to seek some flexibility with this. ICSA is adamant that no farmer loses out as a result of this bureaucratic requirement. ICSA will be insisting that the Department outlines its plans to ensure that farmers are given assistance on an ongoing basis over the period July 2020-June 2021 to help them comply with this requirement.”

“Now though, the priority is to ensure that all those who are eligible to apply for the scheme do so.”

ENDS