Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

Anger over BPS delays

ICMSA deputy president Pat McCormack
ICMSA deputy president Pat McCormack

Problems contacting the Department of Agriculture's helpline is causing frustration among farmers who applied to the national reserve and young farmer scheme.

The department reports the majority of payments have been processed with 1,200 cases outstanding and 500 awaiting additional documents.

A department spokesman said the remaining cases involved complex transfers of allocation and "every effort is being made to complete these cases and additional staff have been allocated to phone lines".

Under BPS, 123,668 farmers have been paid €1.119bn, with around 700 left to be paid.

Pat McCormack of the ICMSA said the long delays and problems contacting the department were causing "huge anger and frustration".

Payments worth over €600,000 have been paid under the Fodder Aid Scheme, with 370 applications and a further 130 applications under the Emergency Flood Relief Measure. Under the EU de minimis rules payments are limited to €15,000 in any three-year period and this also applied the old suckler cow and other schemes.

One farmer who lost hundreds of bales was told he will not get the full compensation. The department said a small number "claiming significant compensation" would be restricted by the rules.

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