Jan 212016


27.11.15 Pictured during the ICMSA AGM is Pat McCormack, ICMSA deputy president. Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association AGM. Southcourt Hotel, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene/Fusionshooters
Pat McCormack, ICMSA Deputy President.

Commenting on the reductions in penalties for over-declaration announced by the EU Farm Commissioner, Phil Hogan, the Deputy President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack said that farmers would warmly welcome the reductions as ‘a step in the right direction’ but he noted that the problem could be much more efficiently dealt with if the ongoing confusion about the definition of eligible land was addressed.

The ICMSA Deputy President said it was to do no more than state the obvious to point out that there would be far fewer penalties imposed in the first place if the underlying issue of eligibility was faced up to in a logical and fair manner. As an example of the kind of illogical definition that leads to confusion and mistakes Mr McCormack cited the example of penalties being imposed for the inclusion of farm roadways in BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) applications. He said that there was absolutely no doubt but that farm roadways should be deemed eligible – not least for environmental reasons – and he said that changing just this anomaly would clear away much confusion and reduce the number of penalties being applied as well as greatly simplifying the administration of the BPS

Commissioner Hogan’s announcement of a system of preliminary checks of applications is positive and our Department should fully engage with it given its potential to anticipate and avoid the kind of mistakes and genuine errors that will cause delays and penalties further along in the process. Mr McCormack said that ICMSA has consistently sought early notification of problems with BPS applications and this proposal might finally deliver on this objective. He concluded by calling on Commissioner Hogan to move past the question of reducing penalties – welcome though that is – and begins to deal with the underlying anomalies and illogical categories that were the prime cause of the penalties in the first place.

21  January 2016.

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

Deputy President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office