IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to commence discussions on a new Charter of Right for Farmers without any further delay.
Mr. Downey was speaking in advance of 2012 SFP applications and stressed the importance of avoiding the delays in payment which have marred some schemes over the past number of years. “Current delays under AEOS, TAMS and other schemes are unacceptable and a new Charter urgently needs to be put in place to set down specific deadlines from application to processing and most importantly payment to farmers.”
Continuing, Mr. Downey said that inspection problems must be sorted out and it is unacceptable that farmers who are selected for inspection have their payment held up. He called for better co-ordination of inspections and the avoidance of duplication as well as increased tolerance, reduced penalties and a strict adherence to prompt payment deadlines.
The IFA Deputy President said a strong Charter of Rights is essential to ensure that payments which are so vital to support farm income are made on time. Recent slippage of the payment deadlines for some schemes in the last Charter have led to serious cash flow problems on farms.
The IFA Deputy President highlighted the need to eliminate unannounced inspections. IFA will be demanding that no inspector arrives on a farm without reasonable prior notice.