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Sunday 16 December 2018

No additional farm building items to be approved for grant aid until budget position becomes clearer - Creed

Much of the growth in farm construction this year can be attributed to new farm building grant schemes announced by the Department of Agriculture.
Much of the growth in farm construction this year can be attributed to new farm building grant schemes announced by the Department of Agriculture.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that no new farm building items will be added to the eligible list for grant aid until the budgetary position becomes clearer.

He said thousands of farmers yet to make payment claims for approved works under the TAMS II scheme. According to the Minister, the scheme has proved to be popular with Irish farmers, with more than 15,500 applications submitted to date.

Of these, more than 12,500, 80pc of the total, have been approved to commence work.

The figures are however much lower where payment claims are concerned.

It is open to approved applicants to submit an online payment claim as soon as they are in a position to do so. Within the approved deadline, the timing of the submission of a payment claim is entirely a matter for individual farmers, and when they carry out the approved works is up to them. To date, just 3,500 payment claims have been submitted.

Responding to questioning in the Seanad last week, the Minister said the Department has actively encouraged all approved applicants to submit payment claims, including by contacting approved applicants individually by text message.

"I would urge all approved applicants who have completed their works to submit a payment claim as soon as they are in a position to do so.

"To date, payments have issued in more than 2,600 cases, amounting to a total of more than €36.5 million

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"Until these approvals mature to payment stage, or the timeframe of the approval expires, a budgetary provision must be available to make payments," he said.

The Minister said until the budgetary position becomes clearer, it is not possible to consider adding additional items, including cattle underpasses, to the list of investment items already available under the suite of seven TAMS II measures.


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