15th December, 2011
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) national president, Gabriel Gilmartin, has urged the Department of Agriculture to issue 50% of the Single Farm Payment to those who haven’t received any Single Payment yet. This relates primarily to farmers who have already had inspections on their farm and are waiting for maps to be digitised or paperwork to be processed.
Mr. Gilmartin said: “This is the single most pressing and worrying issue for farmers at the minute. How are farmers meant to run a successful business if they are being caught up in unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape with issues that were meant to have been solved last year?
We were given assurances earlier in 2011 that digitisation of maps would not be a concern this year but again we are getting a lot of calls on this. In the digitisation cases, if there is a discrepancy in area, the amount involved will invariably be a small percentage and therefore I cannot understand why 50% can’t be paid immediately.”
“In reality, any clarifications following inspections should now have been sorted. In October, the Minister assured us that 50% of the SFP would be made by 1st December. It’s fair to acknowledge that the Department has a very good track record in getting out payments to farmers who have no issues and the level of overall payments that are on time is very good. However, that’s no consolation to farmers who have bills to pay and remain in the dark about when they might get paid. Payment of 50% of SFP plus DAS payments where relevant would make a big difference with no risk that there would be any over-payments.”