Ahead of a meeting with the Department of Agriculture this week, IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey demanded the immediate payout of all outstanding Disadvantaged Areas payments to farmers who are eagerly waiting for their money. He said there was an unacceptable backlog compared to this time last year and farmers are rightly angry at the delays.
Eddie Downey said, “We had over 73,000 farmers paid by this time last year. At the moment, we haven’t reached 65,000. Given the importance of this payment to farm families, the failure to get the system of payments moving is inexcusable. Farmers should not be left waiting for what is part of their income”.
Eddie Downey said, “Minister Coveney has to come out from behind his officials on this one. He arrived at the Ploughing Championships ten days ago and trumpeted that DAS payments were ‘issuing on target’. The experience since then for thousands of farmers has been very different. The Minister heads up the Department and the buck stops with him on this”.
The mapping fiasco has to be addressed by Minister Coveney, and the commitment that no farmer would have his payment withheld, must be honoured. On the Single Farm Payment, the 50% payout is due on Wednesday of next week and it will be totally unacceptable if farmer payments are held up.
Mr Downey said, “Given the severe income and cashflow crisis on thousands of farms as a result of the very high costs earlier this year, any delay in payment is putting unnecessary, additional pressure on farm families”.