Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says he’s very concerned that young farmers will miss out on National Reserve payments for a second year.  In reply to a Parliamentary Question, submitted by Deputy Scanlon, Minister Michael Creed claimed funding for the National Reserve “will be very limited”.

Deputy Scanlon raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil earlier today.

“I am very worried that young farmers here in the North West, and right across the country, will miss out on National Reserve payments for a second year.  No money was made available this year and the Minister’s reply to me, when questioned about the availability of the fund in 2017, is less than encouraging.  He has not given any indication as to when the fund will be restored and more worryingly he says the funding available for the 2017 fund will be “very limited””, explained Deputy Scanlon.

“This is a disgraceful situation.  These young farmers have forked out €3,000 for green certs and land leases to qualify for the scheme and now it looks like they’ll be left out of pocket.  This scheme was opened in 2015 and the funding was paid out to over 6,000 farmers.  However, the programme didn’t open for applications last year and it now it appears unlikely that there will be funding available next year.

“These farmers’ backs are already to the wall.  They have signed up to expensive leases to qualify for this scheme and now they are being left high and dry, with no entitlements or support.  This is deeply unfair and is a reflection of the Minister’s ambivalence to young farmers.

“Minister Creed must fight for these young farmers and ensure that funding can be made available to ensure that they are not left burdened with debt”.