Ferris Criticises Hold Up in REPS Payments
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has criticised the decision by the Department of Agriculture to suspend payment of monies due to farmers under the REPS 2 and REPS 3 schemes. This follows on an EU Commission instruction that payments must be assessed according to the criteria governing the new REPS 4 scheme, payments under which are due to begin next week.
Deputy Ferris said: "The decision not to issue payments to the 55,000 farmers participating in REPS II and III has come as a considerable shock to those involved and will represent a sizeable blow to the incomes of many farm families. The EU decree appears to be based on nothing more than a bureaucratic decision to tie REPS payments into the processing of the Single Farm Payment.
"The decision appears not to have been previously notified to the Irish Department and displays a disregard for the farmers involved. I call am calling on Minister Coughlan to make the most strenuous protests about this, and to demand that the payment due come on stream as previously planned." ENDS