IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has received confirmation from the EU Commission that the proposed €25m increase in ANC payments, promised in the Programme for Government can be made later this year to Brussels as part of an amendment to the 2014-2020 RDP.
Speaking following a meeting with EU officials in Brussels, Mr Brady said: “With the possible deferral of the ANC review until 2019 as a result of the recent Farm Council meeting, the commitment to increase payments in 2018 must still be fully honoured by the Government.”
The IFA Rural Development chairman pointed out to the Commission the importance of the ANC scheme as it is a significant support to income for farmers on poorer land types. Mr Brady told the Commission that payment rates must reflect the natural handicap of land.
He said any deferral of the review until 2019 must not deflect from the clear message at all of IFA’s meetings as part of its ANC campaign over the past number of months: cuts imposed in 2009 have to be fully restored to bring the overall allocation to €250m; all areas currently designated as ANC must be protected in the review; and, payments rates need to increase and reflect the natural handicap of the land.
Funding for the ANC scheme will be a key element of the IFA 2018 pre-Budget submission.