Local Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has hit out at Minister Michael Creed for failing to meet his own targets of having all 2016 GLAS payments made by the end of April.
Eugene Murphy said that the latest figures obtained by Fianna Fáil through a parliamentary question revealed that nationally there are more than 3,000 farmers still waiting on their 2016 GLAS payments to be made.
“Farmers throughout the country are getting increasingly frustrated and angry at this ongoing situation. The latest figures show that a total of 576 GLAS 1 & 2 farmers in counties Galway and Roscommon are still waiting on 85% of their 2016 payment. Some 136 farmers in County Roscommon are still awaiting payment while 440 farmers in County Galway have also been left waiting. The figures show that 99 GLAS 1 & 2 farmers in County Leitrim are still waiting on the bulk of their payment while 53 farmers in County Longford are in the same situation and some 66 farmers in County Westmeath are also waiting for payments. It’s not good enough and it’s simply beyond a joke at this stage. Farmers now reporting serious cash flow issues as a result of these extensive delays. The Minister is neglecting farmers who have invested thousands of euro in the scheme and who have made plans in anticipation of these payments. Indeed many farmers who have contacted my constituency office are under increasing pressure from the banks and they are struggling to make ends meet,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD said that these delays were continuing despite a recent Farmers Charter of Rights meeting, where Minister Creed’s Department committed that all outstanding payments would be made by the end of April.
“There are also concerns about a drop off in the number of farmers participating in the scheme. The data shows that there are only 37,000 GLAS applicants remaining, despite an initial 38,000 being approved. This reduced participation level will further increase the under-spend in GLAS.
“In the Dáil, Fianna Fáil has exposed how GLAS is on track to leave farmers missing out on payments over €400 million up until 2020. There has been woeful neglect of hard pressed farmers the length and breadth of the country by Fine Gael under GLAS,” concluded Deputy Murphy.