IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman Joe Brady has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to prioritise TAMS payments for those farmers who have completed their works following the part approvals issued at the end of 2015.
Joe Brady said the excuse that the Department IT system is not yet ready for farmers to apply online is not acceptable as it is six months since approvals were issued. Many farmers have credit arrangements involving bridging finance with their banks which will run out if the grant aid is not paid immediately. The problem has become more acute with the serious downturn in commodity prices and the consequent farm income problem on many farms.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said that in addition IFA is requesting that farmers who got part approval and who have other items of expenditure on their application can get grant payment on works completed without having the other investment completed. Cash flow difficulties on some farms are leading to a reassessment of farmers’ investment plans.
In relation to the TAMS approvals being issued, Joe Brady acknowledged that progress is being made but that it needs to be speeded up for all 5,000 farmers who have applied for both tranche 1 and 2.
IFA estimates that around 20% of farmers have now got approvals but the approval rate will increase substantially over the next number of weeks. IFA has urged that priority files are dealt with as many farmers want to avail of the good building weather conditions so that investments are completed before next winter.