IFA President Tim Cullinan said that IFA will not attend the Farmers’ Charter negotiations with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine which are scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday).
“IFA will not be attending any further negotiations until we meet with Minister McConalogue to discuss the proposed delay in farm payment dates and the overall Charter negotiating process. Following the last meeting of the group, the Department proceeded to announce payment dates for 2023 which in some cases are a month later than 2022 and which we completely rejected. This is totally unacceptable,” he said.
“The Dept has acted unilaterally. Delaying payments is totally wrong and IFA will not participate in what is now a charade,” he said.
“We wrote to the Minister on March 13th and again on March 22nd seeking an urgent meeting to try and address these issues, but that has not happened,” he said.
IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe said the Minister’s officials have already made their mind up to push the payment dates back. The Minister must intervene now and agree that payment dates for 2023 are back on the table and a solution found.
“The Department seem to have no concept of the importance of these payments. Thousands of farmers have their businesses structured around receiving these payments on the dates they get them every year. Delaying them will affect bank repayments and cashflow to meet other bills,” he said.