IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has said that the failure by the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith to deliver full Single Farm Payment, Disadvantaged Areas and REPS payments worth €200m is totally unacceptable and is causing severe financial hardship on those farmers affected.
Mr. Downey said that the Minister’s priority must be to ensure all outstanding payments are made by the end of the month. 20,000 farmers are still awaiting their total Single Farm Payment, some of whom have only received a very small payment to date.
“In the case of the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, around 5,000 farmers are still due their payment and in the case of REPS 4, 15,000 farmers are still waiting for their 2010 payment,” he said.
Continuing, Mr. Downey said that the Minister must also ensure that for the 2011 schemes there is no repeat of the debacle with payment delays, which occurred last year. Farmers expect to get paid on time as in most cases the monies are committed to meet bank payments, contractors’ charges and general farm expenses.