€15.6m Basic Payment Scheme Refunds to 95,000 Farmers

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, announced the commencement of refunds of €15.6 million to approximately 95,000 farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

This money, deducted from 2021 BPS payments in line with EU regulations under the Financial Discipline mechanism, is now being reimbursed to farmers.

Minister McConalogue stated, “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 2021 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.18 billion.”

The financial discipline mechanism is part of the annual budgetary procedure of the European Union.

The financial discipline mechanism involves a monetary deduction (1.65% for the 2021 reduction) from some direct payments for the provision of 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.

If 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.

Eligible land that was declared in a Single Payment Scheme (SPS) application in 2008 and which was afforested in any year since 2009 or which will be planted in 2022 can continue to be eligible for a BPS payment in 2022 provided it satisfies a number of conditions including the following:

  • The land to be planted was declared on a 2008 SPS application.
  • The declared land was eligible for SPS in 2008.
  • The area must have given a right to payment under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme.
  • Farmers who wish to benefit from the Basic Payment on afforested land must be the person or persons named as the forestry scheme beneficiary or joint beneficiary. This means that you, as the BPS applicant, must be the person or persons eligible for the payment of the forestry premium.
  • Afforested land must continue to meet all requirements of the relevant DAFM scheme under which it was afforested.
  • DAFM will examine forestry parcels each year to ensure they meet all the requirements of the relevant scheme. The forestry premium must be paid on each claimed parcel as part of the terms and conditions, in order for the DAFM BPS Section to examine the plots for eligibility.

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