Dept to contract with farmers in superlevy instalment plan

Contracts between dairy farmers and the Department of Agriculture will be used to facilitate payment of the superlevy in three annual instalments, without interest.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said, “Under the proposed scheme, the Department will, on receipt of a formal application from a milk producer wishing to participate, raise a debt against that milk producer for the outstanding amount of superlevy due, and facilitate the payment in three annual instalments.

“Milk producers wishing to avail of the scheme will be asked to apply through their milk purchaser, and the scheme will, at the outset, involve the establishment of a contract between the milk producer and the Department, where the value of the debt being raised and the conditions that must be complied with are set out. I am satisfied that this approach strikes the balance between offering flexibility to farmers, while also safeguarding the Exchequer.”

“As in previous years, responsibility for collecting the superlevy liability rests with the milk purchaser.

“The milk purchaser must remit the collected moneys to my Department before October 1, in order that it will be in a position to pay the European Commission before November 30.

“The first instalment must be collected by the milk purchaser and paid to my Department by October 1, and the two subsequent payments must be paid by similar dates in 2016 and 2017.

Further details of the scheme are to be announced shortly.

“As long as my Department receives the lump sums it needs by each appointed date in the next three years, we can finance it after this,” said Mr Coveney.

With estimated 4.34% milk over-production to last April, a total superlevy bill of about €69 million is expected.


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