IFA Rural Development Chairman Tom Turley said the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith must aim to clear the remaining 50% of the Single Farm Payment and all Disadvantaged Area payments due, by December 1st next.
Speaking following a meeting of the Rural Development Committee in Dublin, where representatives from every county highlighted the financial impact that the delay in payments is having on farms, Tom Turley said the Minister must make every effort to ensure that full payment is made to all farmers by the December deadline.
Mr Turley said, “over 10,000 farmers have yet to receive their Single Farm Payment and a similar number are due their Disadvantaged Area payment. Progress on payments needs to be stepped up in the coming weeks so a maximum hit on the second instalment can be made on December 1st.” He said nothing less will be acceptable to farmers.
He said, “Farmers have bills from their Merchants, Contractors, Co-ops and other creditors to pay as well as banking and credit commitments at this time of year. On top of this, tax bills are due for many farmers this month. Many farmers are not in a position to meet these bills because of the delays by the Department in making direct payments. This is causing severe cashflow problems and financial hardship on thousands of farms throughout the country.”
IFA has been in contact with all the major banks over the problems associated with the Department payment delays, which are causing severe cashflow problems. He said the banks have undertaken to support and accommodate individual farmers who have been affected by these delays and they also outlined their understanding of the cashflow implications for farmers