Delays in 2016 GLAS payments raised in the Dáil by Kenny
Yesterday in the Dáil, Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Kenny TD, raised the issue of the 6,000 farmers awaiting their 2016 GLAS payments. He brought it up with Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD.
Deputy Kenny said:
“The 6,000 or more farmers waiting for their GLAS money are waiting for their 2016 payments, and we are now nearly at the end of 2017. I am given to understand that a lot of the reason for this is to do with nutrient management plans which have not yet been submitted or have been delayed in being submitted.
“We also have coming up very soon the issue of the commonage framework plans, which also are supposed to be submitted or people will not get their money. As the Minister of State knows, because he lives in a mountainous part of the world in County Wicklow, a lot of farmers on commonage will have to do up this framework plan and submit it. The plans have to be in by 31 October and yet the portal to submit the plan only opened up on 1 October.
“We understand there is a bit of a row going on between private planners and Teagasc, as there was in regard to the nutrient management plans, because the private planners have to get access to it through Teagasc. There are a lot of problems there, the reason for which is poor foresight, because they were not sorted out in the beginning and worked through.”
Minister Doyle responded that there were no delays, but that some applicants had still to submit outstanding documentation including management plans.
Deputy Kenny said that the minister was blaming farmers again to which the minister said that he was also blaming advisors.
Deputy Kenny said:
“There will always be somebody who is a little late. Everybody does not get every wisp of hay home; that is life but farmers have been waiting for their money for a very lengthy period as the Minister of State will acknowledge.
“What needs to be acknowledged is that there is a problem in the Department in regard to the IT systems it uses. I am not blaming the Minister of State, the Minister or anyone else at present but the problem needs to be acknowledged and a solution needs to be found to deal with it.”