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Minister Creed Announces Payment of Sheep Welfare Scheme Balancing Payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, today announced that balancing payments under the new Sheep Welfare Scheme are commencing this week to all eligible farmers.  The Scheme is co-funded by the European Union as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.

Minister Creed stated that: “in mid-November my Department began issuing 85% advance payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme to farmers across the country.  I am happy to confirm that the 15% balancing payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme will now commence on schedule.” The rollout of balancing payments brings the total paid under the Sheep Welfare Scheme to almost €19 million to some 20,000 farmers, providing a significant financial boost to the individual farmers, the sheep sector in general and the wider rural economy. 

The Minister noted that “this new scheme, which I was pleased to announce in Budget 2017 reflects the commitment of this Government to the sheep sector in Ireland.  Given the difficulties experienced by sheep farmers over the past number of months, the issuing of this new payment over the Winter and Spring of 2017/2018 is timely and has provided a welcome additional stream of income to sheep farmers which was not previously available.”

The Minister confirmed that his Department is continuing to prioritise the processing of outstanding cases, saying "I can confirm that every effort continues to be made to clear for payment the small percentage of outstanding cases.  Regular pay runs will continue in order to process cases as quickly as possible.”

The Minister concluded by urging farmers with outstanding queries to respond to the Department immediately in order to facilitate payment. Payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as eligibility is confirmed for farmers with outstanding queries.

 

ENDS

Date Released: 25 April 2018