IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that the foot-dragging by the Minister for Agriculture on issuing approvals for farmers who have applied for the TAMS II grants is unacceptable.
Flor McCarthy said that many farmers applied as far back as last September for grant aid under the various schemes and are still awaiting approval six months later. The only approvals issued to date are priority cases for dairy equipment and low emission slurry equipment. This represents over 1,000 farmers, compared to the 2,500 who have applied in total for the scheme.
McCarthy said, “It is vitally important that all farmers who have applied for TAMS investment are given the go-ahead without further delay, particularly as the weather is now improving so that investments can take place”.
Amendments to Rural Development Plan
In relation to the amendments on the Rural Development Plan, which involves the inclusion in TAMS of grain storage and tillage equipment and sheep fencing, Flor McCarthy said it is important that these are available to farmers in the next tranche of TAMS which commences on 26th March.
IFA understands that the EU Commission has no issue with these amendments to the RDP and are likely to formally approve them shortly. An early opening date for these additional measures is now required, Flor McCarthy said.
In relation to TAMS I payments for investments that were carried out in 2015, IFA has called for all outstanding payments to be made without further delay.