The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney is seeking approval from the EU Commission for the advance payment of the 2012 Single Farm Payment.
Minister Coveney said that “The Single Farm Payment is a very significant part of the annual income of farmers in Ireland. It is an essential part of the cash-flow of farmers and underpins the running costs of many farming enterprises.
The Minister noted that “In some cases the SFP is greater than net farm income” and continued “I am also acutely aware of the significance to the wider rural economy of the Single Payment.
“There are real financial benefits for the rural economy in making these payments six weeks earlier than otherwise provided for under the rules of the scheme”.
The Minister added, “It is clear, the timing of this payment is extremely important to farmers, particularly those on low incomes, to maintain their cash flow and to allow them to pay bills at the due time.
“I believe that there is a strong case for an Irish submission due to the importance of direct payments as an income support to the farming sector and to reduce economic vulnerability and I will press very hard for a positive outcome that will allow payments to be made from 16th October instead of 1st December”.
The Minister confirmed that if his application is approved, his Department would commence payment of 50 per cent of the 2012 Single Payment Scheme in all cleared cases from 16th October, with the balancing payments being made from 1st December.