Farm Ireland

Thursday 8 December 2016

Department underspend is running at €115million

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

Eamon O Cuiv
Eamon O Cuiv

The Department of Agriculture is €115m behind projected expenditure for the first 11 months of 2015.

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The amount is "multiples" of the typical under-spend for this time of year, according to the Fianna Fail spokesman, Éamon Ó Cuív.

"This is a very serious situation, because there is only really three working weeks left in the year, and when this amount is added to the projected spend of €192m that is already allocated to December, it means that the Department is tasked with having to spend a quarter of its total annual budget in the weeks that are left," he said.

The Department responded that "significant payments" under schemes such as genomics scheme, REPS, AEOS, GLAS and the Areas of Natural Restraint scheme were planned for December.

Mr Ó Cuív said that the current underspend highlighted the massive amounts of money from schemes that have been delayed so far this year.

"It's just not good enough. Nearly €90m in scheme funds should be in farmers' bank accounts by now. They are the ones suffering because of these delays," added Mr Ó Cuív.

An additional €28m of the underspend is capital spending. This is money allocated for TAMS, fishery harbour centres and the remediation of Haulbowline Island. The Department said that "a percentage" of these funds can be rolled into next year.

Department underspend is running at €115million

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