Unions stalling REPS payouts claims ICSA
Industrial action by civil servants is delaying payment of more than €60m to 10,000 farmers in REPS 4, the ICSA has claimed.
Of the 29,000 farmers who joined REPS 4, only 19,000 had been paid by the end of March, the farmer body maintained.
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said the delay in paying the remaining farmers was causing severe financial distress for families.
"Every day, I get more and more complaints from farmers in extremely stressful situations whose cash flow is in a terrible state," Mr Gilmartin said.
"Many of these farmers have been waiting on cheques of somewhere in the region of €6,000 to €10,000. Banks won't extend their overdrafts and credit is nowhere to be found. In some cases there are problems with basic household bills due to the delays," he maintained.
Mr Gilmartin said poor industrial relations within the Department of Agriculture had added to the delays in clearing REPS cheques.
The retirement of senior officials at local centres meant some Department offices didn't have staff of the required level to sign off on REPS plans.
It has been suggested that efforts to promote personnel on a temporary basis to fill these posts were blocked by the unions.