Farm Ireland

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Thousands hit by TAMS system delays

ICMSA's Pat McCormack
ICMSA's Pat McCormack
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Farmers are facing serious cashflow pressures over delays in payments under the TAMS II scheme for costly dairy equipment.

A number of farmers had been given approval for bulk milk tanks and milking machines, with costs ranging from €20,000 upwards.

The ICMSA's deputy president Pat McCormack said many farmers had paid for the work and were still awaiting the 40pc grant which was causing major cashflow difficulties at a time of low milk prices.

It has been flagged that there have been difficulties with the Department of Agriculture's IT system for TAMS II but work is underway on it.

Following a meeting of the Farmers Charter committee, he said they now understood it would be July before payments for work completed would issue.

A key issue highlighted at the meeting was a delay in TAMS II approvals for 5,000 farmers to commence work under the investment scheme.

The IFA's deputy president Richard Kennedy said farmers have been told they will have to wait a further two weeks, as he warned it was adding to the frustration of farmers at a difficult time.

It is "totally unacceptable" that nine months after TAMS II opened, approvals have not yet been made to the vast majority of farmers who have applied, said Mr Kennedy.

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Mr McCormack said many farmers had applied for silage slabs which must be laid at least six weeks before silage is stored on them. He warned the clock was ticking with cutting usually getting underway around June 1.

A spokesperson for the Department said they expected the IT system will be "in place shortly and approvals will begin to issue in the next few weeks".

"All applications received in any tranche for TAMS II are examined, validated and then have to be ranked and selected. Approvals commence when this process is complete. In addition the new IT system which assists in the processing of applications is being finalised."

It is also understood there will be around 9,500 on-farm inspections this year, after moves by EU Commissioner Phil Hogan to bring in simplified CAP rules to allow a number of checks be carried out during one inspection to satisfy a number of schemes.

Mr McCormack said they feel the number of inspections should be reduced further in light of the moves by Mr Hogan towards simplifying CAP.

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