Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s department has failed to pay almost €6.5m in emergency funding to local authorities for repairs and the clean-up of flood-hit areas.
Many farmers are also still waiting on emergency funding from the Department of Agriculture. Cork City, Kilkenny, and Meath councils have not yet received any funds from the Department of Environment three months after Storm Desmond hit. While €14.48m has been requested by local authorities to fund the necessary and immediate works, €7.9m of this has yet to be paid.
In early January, the Government announced a package of measures to provide immediate support and to set-up more co-ordinated systems to deal with flooding. This included providing €18m to councils through the local authority clean-up fund and establishing two separate schemes for farmers who were badly hit by flooding.
A scheme to help businesses and organisations was set up through the Red Cross and families who were evacuated from their homes could also apply for help through a Department of Social Protection fund.
A Department of the Environment spokesman could not provide a date for when local authorities will receive the remaining funds to carry out essential works.
“All claims that were requested by December 19 have been paid. The deadline for receipt of further final claims for clean-up costs and necessary immediate works was Monday, January 29, and we will be processing these as soon as we receive sanction from departmental finance to do so,” the spokesman said.
Over 140 farmers have applied for assistance under the Emergency Flood Relief Measure which was set up by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney earlier this year.
The fund covers the direct costs arising from livestock lost to the flood, rental costs where livestock had to be moved off farms and into alternative premises due to potential welfare issues and flood damage to agricultural structures and fittings.
A separate fodder scheme to help farmers who had feed stuff destroyed in the floods has paid 305 applicants €628,871. The Red Cross has paid out around €2m of aid to businesses and sporting organisations in flood-prone areas which were unable to get insurance.
A total of 15 communities, voluntary and sporting bodies received €59,535 under the scheme, while 16 applicants have received €133,326 under the second phase, which requires businesses to be inspected.
The Department of Social Protection has paid €675,110 to 501 homeowners affected by flooding after the severe weather in December 2015 under its Humanitarian Assistance scheme.
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