Small farmers cannot take the strain of delayed payments – Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Martin Kenny TD said today that the Department of Agriculture is keeping thousands of farmers waiting for payments and compensation and he can only conclude that there is a systems failure bordering on dysfunction to blame.
Deputy Kenny said:
“There are still over 4,000 farmers awaiting GLAS payments. The long-promised Hen Harrier Scheme is halted at the contract stage with another 4,500 farmers awaiting compensation for severe restrictions on land use. It is like the Department is on a go-slow on the hen harrier.
“I am hearing reports of similar delays with the corncrake scheme. It seems that the Department is failing with its IT system or with its manual systems because it seems that no one gets paid as promised. This is a systems failure that is bordering on dysfunction.
“The farmers keep their side of the bargain both with the form filling and on the farm, but the Department does not. People are under pressure financially and some people were expecting GLAS payments before Christmas. This is real life and it cannot be postponed when the Department fails to deliver.
“Minister Michael Creed and his officials would want to get real and develop some empathy with the farmers for whom they should be concerned. What is the role of the Minister and the Department if it is not to look after our primary producers?
“The Department of Agriculture slow output is causing stress and frustration to farmers and it is the small farmer who cannot take the strain of delayed payments.”