End to discrimination against ‘Old Young farmers’ – DEERING

13th February, 2015

 

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the news that the so-called ‘Old Young Farmers’ are now eligible to apply under the National Reserve to be given new entitlements or receive a top-up.

“The ‘Old Young Farmers’ are to be classed as a ‘group suffering a specific disadvantage’ bringing to an end an anomaly that meant a number of farmers who, due to the time they established their holding, did not benefit from Young Farmers Installation Scheme and who are not eligible to qualify as a ‘young farmer’ under the new Basic Payment Scheme.

“The category of ‘young farmer’ under the new Basic Payment Scheme in 2015 is only available to persons who established their holding within the previous five years. While this same group also missed out on benefitting from the Young Farmer Installation Scheme. These farmers were falling through the cracks and having met with many affected people in Carlow, I know this is a big issue.

“The Young Farmers Installation Scheme and the new Basic Payment Scheme both aim to encourage and facilitate the transfer of agricultural holdings to young trained farmers by off-setting the costs involved in establishing a holding for the first time.

“These ‘Old Young farmers’ should qualify for these schemes under all other conditions but the rules disadvantaged those farmers who might have inherited a family farm when they were very young, or farmers under 40 who have been farming for five years or more.

“The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has directed the European Commission to consider the ‘Old Young Farmers’ a ‘group suffering a specific disadvantage’. This will now facilitate their application to the National Reserve, established under the new Basic Payment Scheme for Member States to allocate new entitlements or give a top-up on the value of existing entitlements for persons who suffer from a ‘specific disadvantage’. The ‘Old Young farmers’ should now benefit in the same way as all other qualifying ‘young farmers’.”