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Government rules out extending Farm Waste Management Scheme deadline

25 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has this afternoon expressed disappointment that Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith TD has ruled out an extension to the Farm Waste Management Scheme (FWMS) December 31st deadline.

The North Kerry TD said:

"In response to a parliamentary question my office submitted earlier this month the Minister has ruled out any extension to the Farm Waste Management Scheme. This will come as a considerable disappointment to the excess of 10,000 farmers yet to complete work under the scheme.

"Sinn Fein representatives have received scores of calls from anxious farmers who simply will not be in a position to have the works completed by December 31st. Under the terms of the scheme they must have the building work completed by this date in order to avail of the 60 per cent EU grant.

"Farmers have experienced difficulties in obtaining sufficient steel for the building programmes and the summer's unseasonably bad weather has slowed down building projects considerably. Farmers' could not have factored such unforeseen variables into their building projects due to be completed this year.

"The Minister has again blamed the EU for the enforcement of this deadline. However this government can and must make its voice heard on the EU stage. If Irish farmers are facing a difficulty in meeting this deadline then it is the government's responsibility to sufficiently address their difficulties. It is just not acceptable that any government department abdicate its responsibilities to the EU Commission." ENDS

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