Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Yet more mistakes with letters from Department

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

It has emerged that the Department of Agriculture has mistakenly sent more than 100 letters asking farmers to repay monies paid out to them in the Disadvantaged Area Scheme.

The letters demand that the farmers in question repay the amounts without delay, with the accompanying warning that the recipient will be subjected to interest penalties if the money isn't paid within one month.

The letter also states that "the amount along with any interest charged, if not recouped from you directly, will be debited from any future payments that may fall due to you from this Department".

Farmers that contacted the Department after receiving the letter were subsequently informed that the letters were issued in error. This follows on from the 15,000 letters that were mistakenly posted on the Department's behalf informing farmers with forestry that they had incorrectly claimed twice on their land for EU payments.

This blunder was a result of the out-sourcing of the printing and dispatch of Department correspondence with farmers on payment issues.

In this most recent series of botched letters, it appears that the Department calculations relate to queries that were resolved last year with the farmers in question.

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Irish Independent