OVER 100,000 FARMERS APPLY FOR BPS ONLINE
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced a significant increase in the number of farmers applying online for the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
Minister Creed stated “My Department has put in place a range of supports in order to encourage farmers to apply online. The increase in online applicants this year to over 100,000 shows that farmers are increasingly recognising the benefits of doing so. Applying online is simple to do, and it has a range of benefits for farmers in terms of reducing application errors and facilitating the more efficient processing of payments under the BPS.”
While late applications are still being received in the Department, over 100,700 online applications were received in advance of the deadline. In addition approximately 30,000 paper applications were received. Under EU Regulations, Member States are required to move to 75% online application by 2017 and 100% online application by 2018. A dedicated telephone helpdesk is also available during normal office hours to assist farmers applying on line. The helpdesk can be contacted at 0761 064424. “I am pleased that the 2017 target has now been met a year in advance” added Minister Creed.
Minister Creed added “A further benefit available to online BPS applicants this year is the introduction of preliminary checks. These preliminary checks will afford online applicants the opportunity to address any dual claims, over claims and overlaps identified on online applications within specified time frames without penalty.”
Minister Creed concluded “My Department will continue to work with farmers, farm bodies, and agricultural advisors to ensure that the continued roll out of online BPS application will deliver real benefits for farmers in a way that ensures that access to this vital support is not impeded.”