Written answers

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Basic Payment Scheme

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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215. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when BPS payments will issue to farmers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37223/20]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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216. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers awaiting BPS payments due to software issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37224/20]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 and 216 together.

My Department received over 129,000 applications in 2020 for the basic payment scheme, of which just over 122,000 are currently eligible. To date, over 120,000 farmers have received almost €800m in advance payments and payments have continued since they commenced on the 16th October. This represents a greater amount of money paid to more farmers than in any year of the current CAP programme.

There are many issues which may delay a payment to a farmer and, unfortunately, there are always a number of complex cases that take somewhat longer to resolve than usual. My Department is committed to continuous improvement of service and we are acutely aware that resolving such complex cases in the past has lead to such delays in issuing payments to farmers. Continuous systems development is required to improve payment delivery and customer service.

Officials in my Department are currently working to address the issue highlighted by the Deputy and will have it resolved in the near future. It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 farmers in total are affected by this issue, with a significant number of these having more than one issue to resolve.

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