Many TAMS farmers still unpaid ‘approaching despair’ say ICMSA

Commenting on the ongoing delays in relation to TAMS payments where, in many cases, minor procedural problems have resulted in farmers still not being paid, the chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Patrick Rohan, said that with no sign of any real determination on the part of the Department to grab this problem “by the scruff of the neck” and push the payments through, some of the farmers concerned are approaching despair.

Mr. Rohan said that many of the farmers in question have taken out significant bridging finance with their bank and this is now having to be renegotiated imposing additional interest charges on the already hard-pressed farmers.

“There are significant sums of money involved for the individuals and we’d ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine to instruct his Department to immediately make manual payments to the farmers still unpaid.

“There is precedent for this: in the past where delays have arisen with IT systems, manual payments were made to the farmer and this ensured that any delay in the farmers’ payment was resolved within a reasonable timeframe. This needs to happen again, the payment should be made manually immediately and once the IT system is up and running, the relevant IT amendments can be made to the application at that stage.

“There has to be recognition of the fact that the farmers applied for these grants in good faith and with the expectation that payments would be made within a reasonable timeframe. The continuation of these IT glitches is not the fault of the farmers and the Minister must now move and ensure payments are made immediately”, concluded Mr. Rohan.