Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue says farmers are rightly enraged at the severe delay in the processing of applications and issuing of payments under the various TAMS II schemes.

New figures, contained in a Parliamentary Reply, reveal that more than 4,000 farmers are still waiting for their applications to be processed more than a year after the scheme opened.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “Many farmers had planned on starting on farm investment projects in May. However, the delay in processing their TAMS applications has put many of these projects on hold and is one of the biggest sources of frustration and anger among farmers across the country.

“According to the latest PQ reply, 4,328 farmers or 60% of total applications for TAMS have yet to be processed.  This is completely unacceptable considering the scheme has been open for more than a year.  A further 2,829 farmers, who have had their applications approved, are still waiting on their payments.

“Given the severe cash flow crisis, market volatility and low prices facing the primary producer, it is absolutely appalling that these payments are still pending.  The Department claims that IT issues are to blame but this is a ridiculous situation, which is stalling critical funding which is fundamental to the social and economic wellbeing of rural Ireland.

“Yet again, farmers will be disappointed to read the Minister’s reply that “payment claims online will be available in the coming weeks”. This is simply not good enough.  I’m calling on the Minister Creed to expedite these payments and process all outstanding applications as an urgent priority”.