02 Nov 2010
IFA PRESIDENT CHALLANGES MINISTER SMITH AND DEPARTMENT ONRural Development
Speaking after a meeting with Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith this week, IFA President John Bryan said he left the Minister in no doubt about the widespread anger among the thousands of farmers who are still waiting on their full advance of the Single Farm Payment and Disadvantaged Area Payment.
John Bryan warned that the clock is ticking and he said the Department of Agriculture has four weeks until the December 1st deadline to sort out all outstanding mapping, inspection and processing delays.
John Bryan said, “the Minister must make it clear to hard-pressed farmers who are waiting for payment that they will be sorted out by December 1st at the latest, so that they can receive their full and final payments at that time”. He warned that payment delays into Christmas and next year will not be tolerated by farmers.
The IFA President said 30,000 farmers are still waiting on either their full or part Single Farm Payment advance. He said, “Farmers have bills from their Merchants, Contractors, Co-ops and other creditors to pay as well as banking and credit commitments at this time of year. On top of this, tax bills are due for many farmers this month. Many farmers are not in a position to meet these bills because of the delays by the Department in making direct payments. This is causing severe cashflow problems and financial hardship on thousands of farms throughout the country”.
John Bryan said IFA has been in contact with all the major banks over the problems associated with the Department payment delays, which are causing severe cashflow problems. He said the banks have undertaken to support and accommodate individual farmers who have been affected by these delays and they also outlined their understanding of the cashflow implications for farmers