30 APRIL 2018
ICSA president Patrick Kent has called on Minister Michael Creed to extend the deadline for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications following a statement from Commissioner Phil Hogan today. The Commissioner has agreed that EU countries who wish to extend the 15 May deadline may now do so, following requests from a number of member states.
Responding, Mr Kent said “In light of the changes to the application process this year, whereby all BPS and Transfer of Entitlement requests must be made online, an extension makes perfect sense. Applying online may not be that straightforward for many, especially older farmers and those with poor or no internet connectivity, so there needs to be as much flexibility as possible given.”
Continuing Mr Kent said, “ICSA is aware of the huge efforts put in by the Department of Agriculture on this issue and that BPS clinics have been organised throughout the country. However, 2018 has been an exceptionally difficult year for farming with the extended winter and fodder shortages. Farmers have had a lot to contend with and many are way behind schedule at this point. The choice is there now for Minister Creed to extend the deadline to June 15 and I would urge him to avail of that. It is imperative that no one gets left behind during this transition.”