Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Almost €4m paid out in farm building grants last year

Cubicle house which fits about 300 cows.
Cubicle house which fits about 300 cows.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Figures released by the Department of Agriculture shows that almost €4m in grant payments for works under the TAMS II farm building scheme issued last year.

Farmers in Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny received the most money with draw downs of in excess of €500,000.

In total some 347 farmers received grant payments under the scheme last year. The Department of Agriculture figures which were released to Fianna Fail TD, Dara Calleary also show that some 421 farmers submitted claims for grant aid last year but have yet to be paid.

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The Department of Agriculture has said that all claims that are submitted for investment works undertaken under the TAMS II Schemes are examined and any issues outstanding are raised by Department Officials directly with the applicant concerned with a view to having all payment claims processed as speedily as possible.

It said it continues to process payments on an ongoing basis and as this is an ongoing process, there are a number of claims with outstanding issues awaiting clarification from the applicants before payment can issue.

This week it emerged that tighter timeframes for completing works which have been grant approved under TAMS are being considered by the Department of Agriculture.

Under the new regime, which applies to Tranche 6 of the scheme, the installation of mobile equipment will have to be completed within six months, the Department of Agriculture stated.

The Department did not specify the changed time frames for the installation of bulk tanks, milking machines and new buildings projects, but a spokesman confirmed that the period allowed for completion of such works was also under reviews. Under existing rules, all works carried out under the TAMS programme have to be completed within three years of works securing scheme approval.

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It is understood that the rule changes were prompted by the low-level of TAMS funding that has actually been drawn down under the scheme, although considerable sums have been committed by way of approvals.

Close to €90m in grant aid has been approved by the Department of Agriculture under TAMS, but only €5m has been drawn down by farmers to date.

Confirming the changes, the Department stated that: "The timeframes are being changed to ensure that the grant aid approved is drawn down in a timely manner to facilitate budget certainty and in an effort to ensure that funding is made available for the full period of the Rural Development Programme."

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