Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says around 8,000 farmers in the North West are facing lengthy delays in the single payments advance because of new rules on inspections. There are more than 25,000 farmers across the country affected by the changes.
Senator Mac Sharry explained, “Thousands of farmers across Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan have not received the advance because of a raft of new administrative checks and inspections. Many of those who have had their payments delayed were not even made aware of the fact that they had been selected for a satellite inspection. This is a ridiculous scenario which sees these farmers penalised unnecessarily.
“Farmers should not be left out of pocket because of delays or processing difficulties that the Department of Agriculture is experiencing. These farmers, particularly sheep and commonage farmers, depend on these payments to keep their businesses viable and many would have included the payments in budgeting plans for the coming months. Delays in the distribution of the funding will have a major impact on their income and outgoings and has the potential to cause major problems.
“This is just another example of the excessive bureaucracy which governs our agriculture schemes. Many of the farmers involved were unaware that inspections were to be carried out on their land, and now they are paying the price. This is completely unfair and I would urge the Minister to ensure that these inspections are carried out without delay so that the payments can be approved for these farmers. I would encourage any farmers who are experiencing delays to contact me or my office so that I can assist in progressing their payments”.