Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue says while the newly announced TAMS II funding for tillage farmers is welcome, it falls far short of what is needed to replace the lost income they suffered last year.

Deputy McConalogue again emphasised the need for a specific compensation fund for farmers who were affected by last year’s poor harvest conditions.

“Farmers are becoming increasingly frustrated by Minister Creed’s failure to establish a compensation fund for tillage farmers whose crops were destroyed by the heavy rain last summer and autumn.  I have been raising this issue for over six months now and a Dáil motion supporting a crisis fund received the backing of the Dáil in January.  Despite this, the Minister continues to stall on the issue”, said Deputy McConalogue.

“The delays in rolling out this TAMS scheme has further exacerbated matters, and while I welcome the fact that the details have finally been announced, the €29m funding falls far short of what is needed to get tillage farmers back on their feet.  They need additional resources to make up for the massive losses they incurred last year.

“Minister Creed cannot continue to bury his head in the sand.  His department is already running a huge underspend for 2016, it is not unreasonable for him to use €5m of this to compensate hard pressed farmers.  His reluctance to intervene in this crisis will not be tolerated by farmers, and it’s time that he got back in touch with small family farmers, realise the pressure they’re under and put plans in place for a crisis compensation fund”.