Dairy farmers in crisis as only 1% of TAMS payments processed – Smith

– Only 8 applications have been approved to date –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Agriculture Minister to take immediate action to address serious issues that have arisen with the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).
Deputy Smith was reacting to new information supplied to Fianna Fáil, which shows that 99% of applications under the scheme for dairy equipment are yet to be processed.
“The TAMS scheme is an important support for farmers which assist them in modernising equipment and buildings on their farms. The scheme helps improve farm productivity and safety,” explained Deputy Smith.
“The scheme is structured in such a way that farmers undertake the modernisation works first, and then a payment is made once the process is complete. This means that many farmers have secured credit from banks on the understanding that the TAMS payment would be made within a reasonable period of time.
“However, the bulk of the applications have still to be processed. This is despite farmers having submitted all the necessary documentation months ago.
“We have already raised this issue in the Dáil and Minister Creed confirmed that while the number of applications for dairy equipment under scheme stands at 2,218, only 8 claims have been cleared for payment. However not a single payment has been made to date.
“This is simply shocking and points to a major problem with the administration of the scheme. Farmers in the Border region are facing a cash flow crisis as a result of the delay in processing claims as banks are now approaching them demanding payment for loans they have received. This is simply not good enough. I’m calling on Minister Creed to sort out the logjam in his Department that is causing this problem.”