Fianna Fáil Deputy Declan Breathnach has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to aid speedy payments to farmers under the TAMS II grant scheme now that the on-line payment system is open.
The scheme is for on farm capital investment.
Deputy Breathnach has previously appealed to the minister on this issue and brought to his attention the difficulties farmers are facing due to the inordinate delays within the department in processing claims.
“Now that the on-line payment system is finally open, I have asked the minister to ensure that all claims for payment are dealt with as quickly as possible,” Deputy Breathnach said.
“I have come across some cases where extreme hardship and stress has been caused to farmers who completed their works on bridging finance and then had to wait for months to get their claim for payment in due to difficulties within ythe department.
“These farmers were forced to pay large amounts in interest on bank loans that should have been repaid far sooner.”
“I am aware of many farmers also who are waiting an unacceptable length of time to get approval for the scheme. Time is running out and I have appealed to the minister to provide extra staff to carry out the inspections to ensure approvals issue in a speedy fashion so that farmers can commence to upgrade their facilities.”
“There are approx 2,829 applicants affected, and I hope the minister will provide the resources necessary to process the payments immediately.”
Deputy Breathnach said it is mandatory that all applicants will have completed within the last five years prior to the submission of their claim for payment the half day Farm Safety Code of Practice (given by Teagasc or other trained persons) or have completed the FETAC Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Green Cert).