Department handling of AEOS scheme branded 'an utter disgrace' by IFA
The Department of Agriculture's administration of the AEOS scheme has been blasted as "an utter disgrace" after new figures revealed that almost half of the farmers who applied to the scheme last year have not yet been approved.
Of the 8,388 farmers who applied, 4,000 are still under query, Department of Agriculture official Jack Nolan told the Teagasc Agri-Environment conference last Thursday.
The remaining 4,388 applications are classified as "paid or ready for payment", Mr Nolan said.
IFA rural development chairman Tom Turley described the AEOS scheme as a "total mess" due to the Department's administration.
"Having less than half of the 2010 applicants passed or paid is an utter disgrace," he insisted.
The embarrassing backlog in AEOS 2010 processing has been highlighted by the fact that almost 60pc of this year's applications have already been passed for payment.
Of the 6,832 farmers who applied for AEOS this year, 4,058 have been passed for payment, of which 2,304 were subject to query and then cleared.