Bannon lauds SPS change

James Bannon, TD.
Fine Gael TD James Bannon, has given his approval to an EU Commission move to bring forward the awarding of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS).

Fine Gael TD James Bannon, has given his approval to an EU Commission move to bring forward the awarding of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS).

The Legan politician was speaking as TDs and Senators prepare to return from their Summer recess next week.

Under the new terms, farmers will be paid half of their SPS from October 16 instead of having to wait until December. The remaining 50 per cent is scheduled to be paid from December 1.

“The Single Payment Scheme forms a major part of farmers’ annual income,” said Mr Bannon, who hails from a farming background himself.

“The news that this 50 per cent payment will be available in October will make a big difference for farmers in the Longford and Westmeath areas”.

He said Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney’s lobbying for the change had come as a consequence of inclement weather patterns and a fodder shortage farmers are still coming to terms with.

Securing financial aid from banks and other fiscal instutions was another obstacle, he added.

“In the current economic climate, the Single Payment has become increasingly important, especially considering the difficulties people are having accessing credit.