TAMS Criteria Too Restrictive & Need to Change

The IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs chair Teresa Roche said the refusal by the Department of Agriculture to recognise cash payments for equipment for the purposes of a TAMS grant is bureaucracy gone mad.

Teresa Roche said it shouldn’t be too difficult to change the terms and conditions to bring some common sense to the regulations.

The issue came into focus recently with the case of a farmer in Kerry who bought safety equipment with cash. When he was inspected, he was able to show the safety helmet that he had bought, and he had a receipt to prove it.

“We are encouraging farmers to have safety equipment that will minimise the risk on their farms. For the Department of Agriculture to disallow the TAMS grant on the grounds that an electronic payment wasn’t made just doesn’t add up,” she said.

Teresa Roche said the older cohort of farmers, for whom safety equipment such as a quad helmet is very important, is also the group that may not be set up to make electronic payments.

“The Minister may be quoting the terms and conditions here, but there has to be a reasonable approach to how schemes are administered. I would ask him to re-visit this and allow what would be a practical flexibility under the Farm Safety measure,” she concluded.

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