General Election 2016

Poorest family farmers lose out under GLAS scheme – Murphy

General Election 2016
Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Roscommon-Galway Cllr. Eugene Murphy says farmers across the constituency are losing out as a result of Minister Simon Coveney’s decision to change GLAS scheme targets and exclude them.

Cllr. Murphy explained, “There are farmers right across Roscommon who depend on the GLAS payment to keep going. They’ve now been left in limbo after finding out that they have not qualified for funding. This is a completely unacceptable situation and is typical of Fine Gael’s attitude to smaller family farmers.

“Minister Coveney’s management of the GLAS scheme has ensured that the bigger, wealthier farmers are taken care of, while the smaller, poorer farmers are left behind. Tier 3 farmers, whose land quality is not as good as those in Tier 1 and Tier 2, have been effectively locked out of the scheme.

“These farmers have had to hire agri-planners to assist in the application process, at a cost of up to €350. The Minister needs to clarify if these fees will have to be paid again if a farmer wants to apply to the scheme again.

“The decision to exclude these farmers from the programme must be reversed. These farmers are the ones who are most reliant on the GLAS payment and the Minister should ensure that they are the ones that are supported so that they can grow and expand rather than being smothered by the bigger, more profitable producers”.