Tuesday 19th November 2013
The revelation by the Department of Agriculture that over 4,300 farmers in Roscommon, Leitrim and Galway are still awaiting payments from the Department of Agriculture is “completely unacceptable”, according to local TD Denis Naughten
“In reality it means that approximately 645 farmers in County Leitrim, 1,210 in Co. Roscommon and 2,476 in County Galway are going to have to carry the cost of delayed payments, many of whom already have considerable debts on foot of the fodder crisis earlier in the year,” stated Denis Naughten.
“To make the situation even worse there are local farmers who have received no payment from the Department of Agriculture including many of the 400 Roscommon farmers, 255 Leitrim farmers and 733 Galway farmers still awaiting their disadvantaged area payments.
“What is really frustrating it the fact that farmers were promised during the fodder crisis earlier in the year that payments would be prioritised as early as possible in order to pay for feed purchased.
“Instead the Department seems determined not only to delay payments due to ‘mapping issues’ but also to back date penalties to previous years, even though these were previously approved by Agriculture officials.
“This delay will cause severe financial hardship for many farmers awaiting payments. Families had relied on the money coming in to pay outstanding fodder bills and bank loans.
“At a minimum an interim payment should be issued to all farmers who have yet to receive a payment, which will at least help them to start to meet some outstanding bills,” concluded Denis Naughten.