IFA National Rural Development Chair Michael Biggins has called on Minister McConalogue and the Department to end the silence and clarify where farmers stand with TAMS applications.
“At the minute, there are thousands of farmers around the country who have made applications for TAMS that have no idea whether or not they have been approved, never mind when they might hope to start works or be paid for it. It’s madness altogether and creating huge frustration, particularly among farmers tight on animal housing or slurry storage for the coming winter,” Michael Biggins said.
“The Department were quick enough to extend the Tranche 1 deadline because their release schedule of new TAMS schemes proved slower than anticipated. But now we are into the middle of August and farmers are in complete limbo. It’s just not good enough,” he said.
“We are getting calls regularly from frustrated farmers, wanting to know when approvals will be issued so they push on with planned works. The Department need to clarify the situation, and allocate whatever resources necessary to quickly resolve the issue, particularly where there is potential animal welfare or health and safety issues,” he added.
“It’s hard for farmers to plan on-farm investment when they don’t know whether they are going to get a grant. If they drive on and invest themselves in housing or slurry storage, they will rule themselves out of grant-aid. They immediately need clarity if they have any hope of getting work done in 2023,” Michael Biggins outlined.
“Tranche 2 of TAMS has been open since 1st July, and we have yet to get any clarity on when it’s deadline is either,” Michael Biggins concluded.