Disadvantaged Area payments start tomorrow, but €96m on hold
Published 21/09/2010 | 05:00
Pay day will arrive tomorrow for an estimated 75,000 farmers eligible for the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS).
However an average of just €1,650 will be paid out to participants -- equivalent to just 56pc of the total DAS fund.
Over 100,000 farmers applied to the €220m DAS. However delays with re-mapping of eligible areas means that an estimated €96m will not be paid out to applicants on Wednesday.
Instead it will held until November 4 which will leave the majority of applicants waiting for another six weeks for the remaining 25% of their payment.
However, these are the lucky ones. Well over 20,000 farmers will be left without any DAS payment until November due to major mapping problems with their applicantions according to the IFA.
Rural Development Chairman, Tom Turley reacted angrily to claims by the Department of Agriculture that the payments are unchanged from last year.
"This is a kick in the teeth to low-income farmers," he said. "They applied in good faith for this money over four months ago. It's not their fault that mapping issues are not resolved."
Fine Gael's Agriculture spokesman Andrew Doyle also condemned the delay as simply unacceptable.