Gildernew Announces FNMS early part payment option
Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has confirmed the introduction of a part-payment option under the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme (FNMS).
From September this year, any FNMS farmer will be able to claim 50% of their approved funding under the scheme as soon as their building work is finished. This will be conditional on production of acceptable receipts when the farmer submits their claim for payment. The balance of grant due will be paid after a clear inspection of the storage built has been completed.
Outlining the new part-payment option, the minister said:
"The Agriculture Committee requested that I consider making interim payments under FNMS. Unfortunately interim payments would have created a need for more red-tape through extra inspections and offered little benefit to the farmer.
"To address this need I am putting in place a part-payment option so that farmers can claim half of their grant back quickly after building work on their slurry store or tank is complete. The pre-payment inspection will then be undertaken before the other half of their claim is paid. This will be of real benefit to farmers, particularly those who have borrowed money to fund their building work."
The minister also reminded farmers of the December 31 deadline for completion of FNMS work, she said: "As we move closer to the deadline at the end of the year, we anticipate a surge in FNMS claims and may not be able to sustain our current target of full payment within twelve weeks. To ease this we propose that this new part-payment option will be in place by September. A letter explaining the new option is being sent to all those with approval but who have not yet submitted a claim for payment.
"I would encourage those with approval not to delay in getting their work completed and their claim submitted." ENDS
Notes to Editors:
- The FNMS scheme provides financial assistance to farmers who are installing facilities to increase storage capacity on farm manures produced within the farm, and assists compliance with Action Programme measures to be implemented under the Nitrates Directive.
- The department received 4,891 applications to the scheme which closed on 31 March 2006. All work must be completed and claims for payment submitted by the 31 December 2008 deadline. All claims must be paid by 31 December 2009.