Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Agriculture Minister to extend the deadline for applications to the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). This is the first year that BPS statements had to be made online.
Deputy Smyth explained, “The deadline for online BPS applications is today but many farmers across Cavan and Monaghan will miss it as a result of recent weather events. Many farmers have been caught up in the fodder crisis, trying to buy in feed and prevent an animal welfare disaster. They’ve had to prioritise their animals but are now facing a threat to their livelihoods if they do not meet today’s online deadline.
“The EU Commissioner has confirmed that member states can be flexible in extending the application deadline. I am calling on the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to avail of this flexibility and to extend the deadline by at least one week.
“This will give farmers in Cavan and Monaghan the breathing space that they need to concentrate on their applications and ensure that they have all the required criteria completed.
“These direct payments are a vital source of income for Irish farmers, making up 75% of farm incomes. The Minister should recognise the pressure that farmers have been under as a result of the fodder crisis and extend the deadline”.