Fine Gael Agriculture Spokesperson Michael Creed has highlighted the major backlog in REPS 4 payments to farmers participating in the scheme. Speaking after it was revealed that out of the 3,147 particpants in the scheme in County Cork 2,273 are still awaiting payment for ’09. Deputy Creed said;
“Well over half the participants in the REPS 4 scheme, are desperately awaiting ’09 payment three weeks into 2010. This situation is exaserbating an already critical cashflow situation at the farmgate. The past twelve months have been a turbulent for farmers with the average farm income collapsing by 30%. This situation has not been helped by the failure of the Government who have continously cut farm gate schemes in succesive budgets. The Ministers failure to ensure payment of REPS 4 on time merely adds fuel to the fire of financial difficulty”.
“Minister Smith must now take personal reponsibility to ensure the outstanding payments are issued as swifty as possible. Many farmers are struggling to get information from the Department on why their payment has been delayed. The very least particpants in REPS 4 should expect is a straight answer as to why they haven’t been paid, and when they will be”.