Comment: Irritated farmers brace themselves for another layer of 'absurd' bureaucracy
One of the reasons given by the many farmers in the UK who voted in favour of Brexit was the rising levels of red tape and bureaucracy.
The same phrases 'red tape', 'regulation' and 'bureaucracy' immediately sprung up surrounding the concerns over the controversial Public Services Card (PSC).
Few straight answers were being given over whether farmers would have to sign up for the latest level of State requirements in order to access their payments from Brussels - funding that for many farms across the State is vital to ensure the bills are paid each year.
Already the numbers applying online have increased dramatically as all applications for EU funds under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) have to be made online through the Agfood.ie website by 2018. This year 114,000 complied and went online.
As questions grew in many sectors over the need for the new cards, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) president, John Comer, said farmers would be both astonished and very irritated to learn there was even the remotest chance of yet another layer of regulation and bureaucracy.
Meanwhile, the Irish Farmers' Association said it would be seeking clarity on the issue with the Department of Agriculture.
Dairy farmers are already the most regulated and inspected sector of Irish society with any one of numerous agencies having the right to demand personal and occupational details, said Co Mayo dairy farmer Mr Comer.
He described as "absurd" the idea that farmers - who were almost literally rooted in their farms and communities - should have to use a new card to satisfy anyone that they were who they purported to be.