Farmers warn EU funds will go unspent unless action taken

Farmers have warned that EU funding will go unspent unless urgent action is taken to broaden the TAMS Farm Investment Scheme.

IFA Rural Development chairman Flor McCarthy said only €7m has to date been paid out in grant aid, of €90m allocated to the scheme in 2010.

Warning that not all EU funding will be spent by the end of 2013, IFA has proposed a number of changes in order to improve uptake.

IFA proposes additional items be made eligible for grant aid — including animal weighing scales and measures for safer handling of cattle, such as cattle races and collecting pens, restraint gates, and calving facilities. Feed bins for all sectors should be eligible for grant aid, according to IFA.

Mr McCarthy said the investment limit in the sheep fencing and handling scheme should be increased from €10,000 to €20,000 per farmer.

In the Dairy Equipment Scheme, he said, investment limits should be 10% higher, in line with the increase in steel prices.


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