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Minister Smith Announces the Commencement of REPS 4 Payments

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, announced today that payments under REPS 4 have commenced. Minister Smith said "I am delighted that my Department has finalised all the necessary administrative checks and that approximately €45 million will issue to REPS 4 applicants this week."   These payments represent the first of the two phasing arrangements under which REPS 4 payments are made. EU Regulations allow 75% of payments to be released once the detailed administrative checks on all applications, including plan checks, are completed.

"The processing of REPS 4 claims is an enormous and complex task," Minister Smith said. "In order to meet the requirements of the EU regulations, all applications had to be subjected to detailed  administrative checks before any payments could issue at all.  This involved checks on approximately 30,000 files and I am glad that we have managed to reach the stage where payments are now being made in such large numbers.  Payments will continue so that as many farmers as possible will receive their entitlements before the year-end".

Minister Smith also announced that the second phase of the REPS 4 payments for 2010, the 25%, will commence shortly.  This phase will be triggered by the completion of the programme of on-farm inspections for the year.

Minister Smith emphasised that there were also some 24,000 farmers still in REPS 3 who had been paid or would receive payments this year.  "These payments have been continuously going out since January," he said, "and as of today we have already paid out €265 million this year.  These payments, too, will continue to issue right up to the last day of the year".  To facilitate these payments the Department had issued the necessary documents, Form 1C, to all participants to certify that they were operating in accordance with the terms and conditions of the scheme. To claim their annual payment, Minister Smith urged the remaining farmers who have not yet done so, "to submit the claim forms as soon as possible in order to ensure payment this year".

Finally, Minister Smith said that he was particularly pleased that payments under the REPS schemes had been processed before year end to contribute to farm family incomes and help cash-flow.

Date Released: 15 December 2010