Farm leaders and politicians have criticised what they described as frustrating delays in grant payments and approvals under the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).
IFA Rural Development chairman, Joe Brady, called on Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, to ensure that farmers are paid speedily.
“Delays in payments and approvals have left a very sour taste in farmers’ mouths,” he said, claiming some counties are falling behind in approvals to commence work.
ICMSA Rural Affairs Committee chairperson, Patrick Rohan, said the delays are causing severe hardship and disruption at farm level where cashflow is under enormous pressure.
If the computer system causes further delays, manual payments should be made and advances issued, if necessary, to ease cash flow problems.
Additional staff resources should be put in place if required to ensure that payments are made within the next week, he said.
Mr Creed, replying to a Dáil question from Deputy Eamon Scanlon (FF), said full approvals for the first two tranches of the scheme are issuing on an ongoing basis.
“Urgent part approvals also issued in over 1,100 cases earlier this year. Over 2,800 full approvals have issued to-date,” he said.
In a statement, Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said the scheme has been operational for over a year and any initial teething problems should have been resolved by now. Many farmers were depending on the TAMS payments for specific infrastructural upgrades.
This work has now been delayed as a result of the processing issues in the department, he said.
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