Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described as completely outrageous the unwillingness of both the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes to acknowledge the scale of the difficulties farmers are experiencing through delays in receiving basic farm payments. Deputy McGrath was speaking as a prolonged failure to process the payments is leading to high levels of financial hardship being experienced in the farming community:
“I have been raising this matter since November of 2015 when there was ample warning given around the issue of collating and monitoring the data that is linked to these delayed payments.
Yet even though this foresight was available to the Department, the farming community is still being left in financial limbo in terms of receiving any kind of certainty with respect to payment dates.
The Minister is alluding to the fact that these delays are unacceptable but really this was a problem that could have been easily avoided with a little forward planning.
There are enough issues that require the full time attention of the Minister, like the ongoing instability within Dairy market and the return of uncertainty to the beef sector.
I am therefore appealing to both Ministers to provide all the resources necessary to enable the swift and immediate delivery of already overdue payments.
No other section of our community would be expected to manage or survive with having their basic payments delayed by several months,” concluded Deputy McGrath.