Beef: Five week delay for the Basic Payment is totally unacceptable
As I sit here writing this column, there is steam coming out of my ears, because, like a lot of other farmers, we still haven't received our Basic Payment.
It is now more than five weeks overdue. To me, that is totally unacceptable.
There was an issue with a dual claim back in May. When we were notified by the Department about this, we responded immediately. We got no further correspondence on the matter.
So when I went to the Ploughing I made a beeline to the Department stand. There I spoke to a very helpful person on one of the basic payment stations. They brought up my application on the computer, went through everything, said all was in order, as someone else had written in to say it was they who had made the dual claim in error. The net effect meant ours was now clear for payment. I went away happy.
When our payment didn't arrive as anticipated, I rang the helpline. After a long period of time, I got to speak to a person. As far as they could ascertain, our payment is being held up because of map digitisation.
If, as we have been told by the Department, that our application has been cleared for payment, surely the common sense thing to do is pay the 70pc and, if there is any adjustments to be made because of digitisation, sort that out with the remaining 30pc.
From speaking to other farmers, it seems that I am not the only one who was told that everything was hunky-dory but they are still waiting for their payment.
Switching to other matters, as has been our practice for the last few years, we spread some lime on a few fields before the weather turned.