IFA Deputy President Tim O’Leary has said it is totally unacceptable that payments to farmers under the Single Farm Payment advance and the Areas of Natural Constraint are being held up because they have been subject to a Department of Agriculture satellite inspection or on-farm inspection.
He said the delays in payments are compounding the cash flow and income difficulties on livestock farms, which depend to a very significant degree on direct payments for their income. Minister Coveney must immediately intervene and sort out the hold up. It is very unfair that farmers who are selected for an inspection are discriminated against regarding their payments.
The IFA Deputy President said farmers who have not received their payments are being told their files have been sent for digitisation and it is unclear as to when they will be paid. He said it also seems that a very high proportion of cases selected for inspection are being sent for digitisation, compounding the delay in payments.
Tim O’Leary also called for REPS 4 and AEOS payments to commence to the 37,000 farmers who are due an agri-environment payment this year. There is no reason why the first 75% of the payment due cannot now be made.