Department cracks down on farmers applying for grants and not doing work
Only 650 TAMS applicants paid to date from 10,000 applications
The TAMS II farm building grant scheme continues to cause issues for the Department of Agriculture, but a move by the Minister this week will limit the time frame farmers have to complete work they have grant approval for.
New figures revealed by the Department of Agriculture this week show that only 650 applicants have been paid to date under the TAMS II scheme.
However, the Minister highlighted an ongoing issue in the scheme where people are applying for grant aid and get approval, but do not proceed to do the work.
He said the Department continues to find it difficult to budget for the scheme due to the inconsistencies between the number of applications and actual drawdowns.
The total budget for TAMS II for the period of the Rural Development Programme is €395m.
The budget allocated in 2016 for TAMS measures was €35.8m and the budget allocation in 2017 is €50m. Despite this, the total amount of expenditure incurred to date is only €7.38m.
To date there have been just 900 payment claims, the Minister said despite some 6,300 farmers obtaining overall approval for works.
However, the Minister this week highlighted a change in policy in the Department to overcome this issue with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme amended to allow for a specific time frame in which farmers must complete works post approval.