The pay run for REPS4 has started and farmers should begin to receive the payment shortly, according to Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames. Her colleague, Mayo Deputy John O’Mahony received the information in an adjournment debate Fine Gael had called for in the Dáil.
“Farmers will be relieved that this payment, finally, is on its way,” says the Oranmore senator.
“I have been pushing the Government on this issue for months. My constituency office was inundated with calls from farmers over the last number of weeks with the refusal of the Government to pay REPS being at the top of the list.
“REPS4 payments and all other REPS payments have always been paid out in November or during the first week in December at the latest. This payment is vital as it goes towards the repayment of bank loans. It will go straight back into the economy. The delay in REPS4 particularly hits farmers who have had farm waste management payments delayed for three years. Many will go to the banks to make repayments with these payments. Many have had child welfare supplements cut or have experienced delays in third level grant payments. The same people are involved in many of these cases.”
She says Galway has a huge number of REPS farmers. “In the farming community incomes have dropped by 30 per cent in 2009 on top of a 13 per cent drop the previous year. This is untenable. These are the farmers who see services being cut in the constituency.
“However, under questioning in the adjournment debate, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture confirmed that the first pay run on REPS4 has begun. This will cover 10,013 farmers who will receive payments totalling €31.2 million into their bank account in the next few days.”