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McAleer concerned at DUP's Poots attempt to hinder LFACA payment

22 January, 2015 - by Declan McAleer

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has questioned the actions of DUP MLA Edwin Poot’s whose intervention at the DARD committee on Tuesday has resulted in a delay to the Statutory Rule governing the Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances Scheme (LFACA).

According to Mr Mc Aleer “The Minister Michelle O’Neill recently announced that the payment rates for the 2015 LFACA scheme will remain the same as last year, including a one year transitional payment to farmers in Disadvantaged Areas which had been due to end. This payment is an important source of income for almost 15,000 farmers who are farming in constrained areas such as our hill farmers and it provides a welcome boost to the rural economy.

“However, the intervention by Mr Poots at this week’s DARD committee has resulted in a delay, which I hope will not stall the relevant legislation passing in the Assembly.

“At the committee Edwin Poots raised a number of concerns, despite the fact that the recent announcement by the Minister of the payment rates has been warmly welcomed by the farming community.

“Farmers are finding it difficult enough to survive in a climate of volatile markets, low prices and poor weather conditions and should be supported, not hindered, by members of the DARD committee. I would therefore question if this is a ploy by the DUP’s Edwin Poots to hinder the LFACA payment.” 

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