Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Ceisteanna (492, 493)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

492. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the GLAS scheme will reopen for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10253/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

493. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to extend GLAS pending the introduction of a new scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10254/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 492 and 493 together.

It is not possible, at present, to make decisions in relation to schemes implemented under the Rural Development Programme, including GLAS, until confirmation is available at EU level on the available budget and the timeframe for a transitional period. Ireland has pressed for the earliest possible adoption of these regulations, so that my Department may plan for the transitional period with legal and financial certainty and, consequently, provide clarity to farmers and rural communities as soon as possible.

Any extension to or replacement of schemes would be dependent on the appropriate budget being available, as well as sufficient time being available from the adoption of the legal framework to allow administrative provisions to be put in place. The Department is currently considering these matters in the context of giving effect in due course to the transitional arrangements should they be adopted.

As GLAS is a voluntary scheme, farmers will not be obliged to participate in any transitional arrangements which are put in place, once they have completed their existing five year contract.