Mayo based farmers are suffering severe hardship as a result of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s unacceptable delay in processing outstanding REPS payments, according to Dara Calleary TD.
“A large number of farmers have called into my office in recent months with regard to outstanding REPS payments – many of them stretching back to April.
“In most cases that have been presented to me throughout the summer, the farmer in question has been paid 75 per cent of his payment but 25 per cent remains outstanding,” he said.
“In a number of instances the 25 per cent has been confirmed for payment since April but has not been paid. I have been told by the Minister that the delay is as a result of work in hand in the upgrading of the REPS computer system to calculated penalties in accordance with EU regulations.
“While I can accept his explanation for the delay, I cannot accept that the date for payment continues to change, moving as it has from the end of July/early August, to being issued at the earliest possible date, to the latest that his Department is currently making arrangements to process outstanding 25 per cent payments to farmers due in respect of 2010 and that it is anticipated that these payments will commence in October,” explains Deputy Calleary.
“The Department continues to move the goalposts and local farmers simply cannot afford to wait any longer for their outstanding entitlements – they have bills to pay and accounts to uphold with suppliers who in turn are suffering as a result of this unacceptable delay.”