Computer glitch holds up millions
A computer glitch is being blamed for a month-long delay in basic payments to farmers that leased their entitlements under the Private Contract clause.
Expectant recipients are being told that payments can only be made on a Sunday, with three Sundays already missed due to the electronic system being unable to process leased payment changes.
It is believed that 36,000 payments are now delayed, worth more than €135m.
Representative bodies have reported a flood of phone calls from frustrated farmers. In addition to over 14,000 farmers awaiting their basic payment scheme monies, some 22,100 farmers were awaiting payment of Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme monies.
Denis Naughten TD, who obtained the figures from the Department of Agriculture, said the delay will cause "severe financial hardship" for farmers, despite department promises it was "prioritising" payments.