Laois Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan has called on Minister Coveney to reopen the Agri-Environmental Options Scheme. Deputy Flanagan met with the Minister last week and impressed upon him the importance of reopening a targeted scheme so that financial recognition is provided for farmers who are restricted in what they can do in obtaining a commercial return from their farm.
“I informed the Minister of the importance of this scheme to farmers in Laois and Offaly. I understand the difficulty that the Minister faces in terms of trying to fund the scheme in order to remain within the expenditure ceiling for 2013. The Minister informed me that he has to consider how the scheme might be funded within the budgetary constraints and the reduced resources available”
“Minister Coveney has assured me that he will examine the possibility of reopening the scheme for applications later in the year with a possible start date of January 2013. He indicated that he will take particular account of those farmers who farm under restriction on Natura or Commonage land and is cognisant of the outcome of the review of the Commonage Framework Plans which is due to be completed shortly. ”