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Smith brings forward €85 Million in Agricultural Payments

€45m in Farm Waste Management Scheme payments

 €39m in REPS payments


The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, will be seeking Dáil approval, within the next couple of weeks, for a Supplementary Estimate for his Department, which will allow him to bring forward €85 million in payments that would otherwise not have been paid until early next year.

This is not additional Exchequer money, but discharges liabilities earlier than previously planned and is possible because of savings arising on the Department's Vote and the use of EU receipts and will improve the cashflow situation of farmers due REPS payments and FWMS grants early next year.

The Minister proposes to bring forward €45 million in farm waste management scheme grants, which are part of the second 40 per cent instalment payments due to be paid in January 2010.  This will increase the total paid under the scheme in 2009 to €286 million and by the end of January 2010, the total level of payments made by the Exchequer will be in excess of €1 billion.  This Scheme is totally funded by the Exchequer.

  • up to end 2008  -  €527.7m         
  • 2009                 -  €286.0m           
  • Jan 2010           -  €196.0m (approx)

In addition, the Minister intends to bring forward €39 million in REPS payments to December 2009.  This will increase spending on REPS this year to a record €369 million to a record number 62,000 participants.

Single Payment

The Minister said that he was "conscious of the serious income difficulties being experienced by farmers this year and, in that context, I wanted to improve the cashflow situation of thousands of farmers by bringing forward almost €85 million in payments under REPS and FWMS to December, which would otherwise have fallen to be paid in the New Year."

Furthermore, the Minister confirmed that €863.5 million has been paid in advance payments under the Single Payment Scheme to over 120,000 farmers since last month.  Payment of the remaining 30 per cent, amounting to some €380 million, will commence next week.  A further €216.4 million has been paid to over 97,000 farmers under the Disadvantaged Area Payments.

Minister Smith emphasised that "it was in acknowledgement of the difficulties being experienced by farmers that I pressed the Commission to bring forward the advance payment under the SPS and I was supported in my call by a number of other Member States.  The outcome was a very successful one with the Commission agreeing to bring forward the largest-ever advance payment (70 per cent) by a full six weeks."

Date Released: 24 November 2009