The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers have taken issue with the Department of Agriculture following the commencement of payments under tranche 1 of GLAS. While welcoming the issuing of payments the decision to only pay on up to 17 hectares of commonage (with any balance not expected until summer) will leave a shortfall for many farmers of over €700.
INHFA National Chair Vincent Roddy stated that “actions such as this is totally unacceptable and would not be entertained in any other industry”.
When joining GLAS a contract was signed between the farmer and the department which outlines actions required a timescale and when payments are going to be made. What is very difficult to accept added Mr Roddy “is that if the farmer does not deliver then penalties will apply but the department can and do break their end of the contract and never experience any sanction”
Mr Roddy concluded by pointing out “how all of these farmers have already incurred significant costs in the drafting of the GLAS plan so there is minimal risk to the exchequer in paying out on the full contract area”