Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Wexford Cllr James Browne has accused the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney of abandoning hundreds of farmers across Wexford. Cllr Browne highlighted that farmers are experiencing significant delays in receiving farm payments from the state.
“Last year I highlighted that farmers in Wexford were facing longer delays in getting their farm payments. Fianna Fáil raised the issue in the Dáil and Minister Coveney made a firm commitment to clear the backlog and ensure people are given their farm payments without delay.
“However two months on it seems Minister Coveney has done little to resolve the problem. Farmers are waiting longer now for their payments to be processed than they were before Christmas. It’s resulting in severe financial difficulty for countless farming families across the country and is preventing them from planning ahead. I’m inundated with calls from farmers who say they can’t get any sort of indication from the processing office in Portlaoise as to when they will receive their payments.
“Minister Coveney has failed to ensure a speedy application process and as a result farmers are being left out of pocket. He should be ashamed of his poor record in office and clearly fails to understand the importance of agriculture programmes to average farmers. Minister Coveney seems to think that farmers have thousands in the bank to tide them over for months on end until they receive their farm payments. This is not the case for farmers here in Wexford.
“Farmers have come through a very difficult period, particularly with the poor weather and flooding. The least they can expect is for their payments to be made on time. It’s time for Minister Coveney to up his game and resolve these ridiculous delays in processing farm payments,” said Cllr Browne.