IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman Michael Biggins has urged the Department of Agriculture to issue TAMS approvals to all applicants to tranche 18, which closed on Aug 21st last.
With 3,000 farmers applying in the tranche, as well as 1,500 who were rejected from tranche 17, the problem of approvals will continue unless the carryover is dealt with.
IFA has already expressed serious concern regarding the delay in issuing approvals as it’s holding up investment plans of farmers. This matter must be dealt with by the new Minister for Agriculture when the appointment is made this week.
Michael Biggins said that tranche 19 opened on August 22nd and will close in mid-October. This will leave one more tranche to take the scheme to Dec 31st. At that point IFA will be insisting that under EU transitional rules, the scheme is extended for 2021 with four definite tranche dates. If the transition is for a two-year period, then more tranches should be added.
So far over €220m has been paid out to 16,000 applicants. Grant aid is paid at the rate of €1.3m to €1.5m per week. At this level of expenditure, it is expected that there will still be €130m available out a total of €395m allocated in the 2014 – 2020 Rural Development Plan.
“In IFA’s 2021 pre-Budget proposals, we are looking for an allocation of €120m for TAMS for next year. This is an increase from the 2020 allocation of €82.5m. This will be necessary to clear the backlog of approvals and new applicants between now and year end and in the transition period,” he said.