Donegal South West Senator and Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Agriculture and Food says he’s very concerned at the delay in AEOS 3 payments to farmers in Donegal. Minister Coveney had previously stated that the money would be released in the first quarter of the year.
“I’m very worried that these payments have still not been made, despite assurances from the Minister that they would be paid by the end of March. That deadline has come and gone, yet hundreds of farmers in Donegal remain out of pocket. I’ve been contacted by anxious farmers who have winter bills due and no AEOS payment.
“This is just another example of this Dublin centred Government turning a blind eye to the farming community. These are essential payments that farmers depend on to stay afloat, and they’re now being pushed back.
“Small family farmers are already struggling to keep their businesses viable. This Minister has made the situation even more difficult, standing over a range of cuts to cuts to supports, cuts to prices and rising operational costs, while at the same time pushing back the payments that these farmers rely on and are entitled to.
“I’ve been informed that the AEOS payments will begin at the end of April, that’s a month later than originally scheduled. Combined with reductions in a number of funding payments, the late payment of the scheme has resulted in additional pressure on these families.
“I would urge Minister Coveney to expedite these payments and to prioritise them in the future in order to ease the burden on hard-pressed farm families”.