The Minister for Agriculture has given no indication of action on the super levy fines for dairy farmers.
Fianna Fáil's Brendan Smith had called for the Minister to postpone the fines for the remainder of this year as well as 2017 "in view of the crisis affecting dairy farmers".
In response, Michael Creed said that it is "not within the gift of individual Member States [of the EU] to amend these rules". He also said that rules surrounding production over the quota have been set at EU level.
He did point to a minor concession on the EU's part. He said:
"EU Commission introduced a provision last year permitting payment of the levy in three annual instalments, without interest. This was on the understanding that the full amount of the levy was paid to the Commission by the Member State in 2015. Ireland was one of the few Member States to implement this scheme and make it available to our farmers."
A proposal for a further deferral was knocked back however, with Minister Creed stating that the EU Commission "have unequivocally advised that the legal basis for the Regulations under-pinning the scheme are no longer in existence and therefore further amendments are not possible. Our clear understanding is that the view of the Commission’s legal services remains that there is no legal basis for any adjustment to the timelines provided for in the relevant regulations".