01 Apr 2011
FAILURE TO SUPPORT FARM PROJECTS RESULTS IN LEADER COMPANIES NOT MEETING EXPENDITURE TARGETSRural Development
IFA Rural Development Chairman Tom Turley has called on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan to allow Leader companies to process grant aid to farmers and food producers who have had projects held up for the past three months.
Mr. Turley said, “The Leader programme must be allowed to work for all sectors of rural society and farmers must not be excluded. To date, the Leader programme has not demonstrated its ability to support farming projects. This impasse will make this situation worse, which is the key reason why leader companies are not meeting their spending targets.
Mr Turley said, “In many instances, the project promoters have invested money in projects and are now encountering serious cashflow difficulties as a result of the failure of the Department to allow Leader companies to pay the 40% grant-aid due.”
These projects are vital for the rural economy and have the potential to create up to 500 jobs in rural Ireland, which are badly needed in the current economic climate.