Galway East Deputy Michael Kitt has criticised the ongoing delay in payments to farmers under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS)
In reply to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Kitt, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed that 4,290 Galway farmers who applied under the DAS earlier this year still have not been paid. A further 2,192 applicants in Co Roscommon are still awaiting payments.
Deputy Kitt said the protracted delays are causing serious hardship for the most disadvantaged farmers in the Western region.
“These delays are unacceptable. We are now in a situation where nearly 6,500 farmers across Galway and Roscommon are still waiting for their payments as the winter approaches,” said Deputy Kitt.
Overall Minister Coveney confirmed that payments worth €143.3 million have issued nationally to 67,538 applicants. Of the 12,320 applicants in County Galway, 8,030 have been paid to date. Of the 5,855 applicants in County Roscommon, 3,663 have been paid. It leaves a total of 6,482 farmers in Galway and Roscommon who still haven’t received DAS payments.
“The thousands of farmers across Galway and Roscommon who are still waiting for payment deserve an explanation from Minister Coveney as to why his Department is running 15%, or €100 million, behind target as of the end of last month,” said Deputy Kitt.
“The delays are putting significant pressure on farmers as many struggle to meet their outgoings. Many suppliers have had to extend extra credit to farmers to help them at this difficult time. It’s now time for Minister Coveney to step in and give struggling farmers what they are entitled to,” said Deputy Kitt.