GLAS Commonage Framework Plan Deadline will cause ‘Great Difficulty’ – Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Kenny TD has said the Department of Agriculture’s decision not to give farmers their 2017 GLAS payments until Commonage Framework Plans are submitted will cause great difficulty and needs to be reviewed.
Deputy Kenny said:
“I have recently learned from a parliamentary question to the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed TD, that farmers in mountain areas, who require commonage framework plans to be complied for GLAS, will not receive their 2017 GLAS payment until that framework plan is submitted to the Department. The deadline for submitting the commonage framework plan is 31st of October 2017. However, the online portal for submitting the plans did not open until the 2nd of October 2017.
“The policy of refusing payments until these framework plans are submitted will cause great difficulty. Considering the complex nature of the framework plans and the very short window being allowed to get the plans submitted, the Minister needs to review the situation to make sure this doesn’t become another reason for delays in farmers getting paid their GLAS money.
“After speaking to planners, it is clear that in many cases, despite their best efforts, they will not able to meet the deadline of the 31st of October. Compiling the Commonage Framework Plan is a complicated process, with over 9,000 farmers across over 3,800 commonages having declared commonage in their GLAS applications. There will only be one framework plan for each commonage area and only one consultant planner doing the plan. This means that shareholders on their respective commonages have to work together to draw up the plan.
“Not all shareholders on the commonage will have the same planner and of course the planner doing the framework plan won’t have access to GLAS applications from other farmers. Indeed, some of the shareholders on the commonage may not be in GLAS at all and are not obliged to adhere to the framework plan, making it more difficult to plan for and manage. Farmers and planners who are being put under tremendous pressure to get these plans prepared and submitted in such a short timeframe, will require some flexibility around this issue.”