New TAMS items can't be added unless others are dropped - Minister 

Joe Lucey's underpass on his dairy farm is in Ovens, Co. Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Joe Lucey's underpass on his dairy farm is in Ovens, Co. Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

There is very little opportunity to add new items, such as underpasses, to the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed. 

Speaking at the IFA AGM in Dublin yesterday, he said that several thousand applications are currently being processed and the Department does not want to "leave any penny behind in terms of RDP" and that there is a current overspend of €105m on the current Rural Development Programme, not an underspend. 

However, he also told farmers that the chances of getting new items added to TAMS, such as underpasses, would be dependent on other lines being dropped. 

"We have some applicants dropping out and not availing of the money, so that is freeing up some money and there will be future tranches. However, I do not see a huge opportunity (for items such as underpasses) unless we drop lines.

"It would be less than honest to say I see huge promise for underpasses."

There is a budget in place of €395m for the suite of seven measures available under TAMS II for the duration of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

To date the expenditure amounts to €105.574m.

Some 964 approvals expired at the end of 2018 with a grant value of €11.787m.

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At the same time over 8,900 farmers had a TAMSII approval in place for which they had not yet submitted a payment claim with a grant value of €171.904m.

All of these approvals represent committed expenditure under the TAMS II measure of the Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020.

Until such time as these approvals are acted upon or expire the budget for TAMS must include provision for the potential expenditure involved.

All participants who have completed approved works are urged to submit their payment claims immediately to facilitate early payment.

The Scheme remains open for new applications and applications continue to be received and processed under the Scheme with over 2,000 applications submitted under the latest tranche that closed on 7 December 2018.

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