Limerick TD says GLAS payments welcome but ‘much more action’ needed to support Agri-sector

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niall collins
Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins

THE EARLY issuance of the GLAS balancing payment announced this week by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD has been welcomed by Limerick TD Niall Collins who warned “much more action” is needed.

Fianna Fáil TD, Deputy Niall Collins, welcomed the minister’s announcement that GLAS payments would be made by the end of this week, but warned more is needed from Government and Europe to support farmers during the public health emergency.

Deputy Collins said he “repeatedly” called for the minister to bring the payment date forward, saying, “I welcome last night’s announcement that the payment will be issued early. It will come as a relief to many farmers experiencing cashflow problems.”

But the Fianna Fáil TD said “much more action” is need to help support the sector during this public health emergency.

“There has been little action from Minister Creed at national level or from the EU Commission,” he said, noting he believed the urgency shown in reacting to the emergency “is very disappointing”.

Deputy Collins said, “Minister Creed needs to engage with the EU Commission on behalf of Irish farmers to seek emergency aid for those in the sector.

“Supports should be forthcoming from Europe and it should not be taking repeated calls for those supports to arrive.

“We also need to see aid to private storage measures introduced from Europe without delay in order to stabilise meat and dairy prices over the coming weeks.”

The Limerick County representative said like other sectors the farming industry has been “significantly affected by the global pandemic”.

“The response from Government has not been what is required. Minister Creed needs to ramp up his engagement with European Officials on behalf of Irish farmers,” concluded Deputy Collins.

Announcing the payments yesterday evening, Minister Creed said, “Today’s payment of over €26m brings to almost €800m the total payments made to date in respect of GLAS. Our priority now is to continue to make payments to other applicants as they become eligible and we will continue to make payments on an ongoing basis.”

Farmers with queries in relation to GLAS can email [email protected] or phone the GLAS helpline on 0761 064451