McIlveen announces record Basic Payment performance in December

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Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced that her department has delivered a record Basic Payment performance in December.

Miss McIlveen had set a target of processing payments to 95% of eligible applicants by the end of December.

The department has delivered 22,594 full or balance payments worth £92.8 million to 96% of eligible farmers in December. CAP payments worth £250.9 million have been issued for the 2016 scheme year so far.

Miss McIlveen said: “I am pleased to announce my department has delivered on its promise and achieved a record payment performance for the month of December. After a very difficult year for the industry, this will make a significant difference to our farmers. I am particularly pleased to confirm that the majority of businesses subject to inspection have been paid in December.”

The CAP schemes being paid are the Basic Payment and the Greening Payment. Where a successful application for the Young Farmers’ Payment has been confirmed, is also paid. Balance payments are issued to farmers who received an advance and full payments are being issued to those who did not. The payments made incorporate deductions made under the financial discipline mechanism to provide funds for the 2017 EU Agricultural Crisis Reserve.

The minister noted that the increased number of applications submitted through DAERA’s online system had allowed more claims to be processed earlier.

She added: “I hope that even more farmers will recognise the benefits of applying online and help us to further improve on payment performance in the future.”