IFA Deputy President Tim O Leary said IFA is meeting senior officials in the Department of Agriculture this week over the unacceptable delays on direct payments and, particularly, the thousands of farmers still waiting on ANC payments. Tim O Leary said in a year where farmers are under extreme income pressure, it is totally unacceptable that there are payment hold ups.
Tim O Leary said ANC payments commenced on September 21st and thousands of farmers are still waiting on their payment with many claiming they have had no contact from the Department. When some of these farmers get in contact the Department, they are been told that they don’t know when they will get paid and it may take many more weeks. Excuses such as digitising, inspections, satellite inspections, forestry, mapping issues and processing delays are all being put forward by the Department for the delays in their payments.
Tim O Leary said IFA is very concerned that there also seems to be a high level of hold up on Basic Payments and greening which were due to arrive with farmers this week. Again farmers are being given the same excuses such as digitisation and inspections holding back payments. He said this is not acceptable and will have to be urgently addressed by Minister Coveney.
The IFA Deputy President said some farmers were told this week that the reason why their basic payment was help up was because they had applied for GLAS and their file was gone for digitising. He said the Department have had more than ample time since the GLAS applications were lodged to have these files processed and farmers cannot be penalised through payment delays just because they have applied for GLAS.
Tim O’Leary said it is vital that all ANC payments are now paid to all eligible farmers without further delay. He said payment delays must be sorted out immediately.