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Anger at response to delay in farm subsidy payments

2 December, 2004

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has said that the response of DARD minister Ian Pearson to the delay in farm subsidy payment is unacceptable.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The response of Ian Pearson to the impact of the civil service pay dispute on the payment of farm subsidies is not good enough.

"If the department does not have in place effective delivery mechanisms to deal with its problems then it is unacceptable that the farmer will suffer.

"Figures on farm incomes published show that incomes are not improving and that farmers are heavily reliant of subsidies and carry huge debts. The failure to apply interest to delayed farm subsidies will impact on the resources and borrowing of farmers. It is wrong of the department to pass on its failures to the shoulders of the farmer who is already carrying a heavy burden." ENDS

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