The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has announced the commencement of payments of over €13.35 million to approximately 100,000 farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme Refund.
This money was deducted from their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under the Financial Discipline rule and is now being reimbursed in line with the EU regulations.
Minister McConalogue said, “I am pleased to confirm that these payments are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers. These payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.194 billion.”
In the context of the annual budgetary procedure of the European Union, the financial discipline mechanism which is implemented by the Member States involves a monetary deduction (1.4% for the 2019 reduction) from some direct payments thereby creating a financial Crisis Reserve for the European Union.
The crisis reserve is intended to provide additional support for the agricultural sector in the case of major crises affecting agricultural production or distribution. In the event that the Crisis Reserve is not activated in the financial year, or it is not fully utilised, the unused balance is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year.
This will come as welcome news to many farmers across the country that have struggled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the agricultural fallout from Brexit.