‘No Extension to Single Application Deadline’ – O’Neill

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has said she won’t extend the deadline for the submissions of Single Application Forms beyond May 15 2015.

The European Commission had announced its intention to allow EU countries to extend the deadline to June 15, but in an announcement on Tuesday, the Sinn Féin Farming Minister confirmed the original deadline will remain.

Speaking earlier this week, Ms O’Neill said the decision will cause the least disruption.

“My Department has published guidance on the Basic Payment Scheme, the Young Farmers’ Payment, land eligibility, and the Regional Reserve. Guidance on the Greening Payment will be published shortly.

“As my department’s online Single Application service has been available since March 18 and as paper Single Application packs are now being received by farmers, keeping the deadline as it is will cause the least disruption and confusion for farmers. Extending the deadline would increase the risk of payments being made later than December 2015,” she said.

Meanwhile the Agriculture Minister has called on the Tyrone farming community to attend today’s (Thursday) roadshow on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform at the Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh, at 2pm and 7pm.

The information events are part of a continued information drive to educate the local community about the end of the Single Farm Payment scheme, which finished on December 31 2014 and its replacement with new direct payments.

The roadshow will cover the new Basic Payment Scheme, a payment for Greening and, where applicable, a Young Farmers’ Payment.

Also gone is the Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances Scheme (LFACA), replaced by an Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme and a one year transitional payment (for Disadvantaged Area farmers, who are not eligible for the new ANC).

Minister O’Neill said, “My officials will advise on the application process and explain the benefits of using the online service, in addition to providing farmers with the opportunity to ask questions on specific areas of interest.

“I would therefore urge farmers and their families to attend one of the roadshows in advance of completing their SAF this year.”

Source: ulsterherald.com