News & Press Room

Macra Addresses Payment Delays with Minister Coveney

15 January 2016
Macra Addresses Payment Delays with Minister Coveney
Macra National President Seán Finan has highlighted the anger and frustration of young farmers across the country due to the delays experienced in processing of payments by the Dept of Agriculture. Macra na Feirme met Minister Coveney yesterday (Thursday) to discuss issues around payment delays to young farmers. 
Speaking about the delay in making payments to young farmers, Mr. Finan said, "The delays experienced by young farmers are totally unacceptable and not good enough. The delays are causing considerable hardship for the young farmers affected.”
Minister Coveney confirmed that the Department of Agriculture would be transferring additional resources to the young farmer section of the Department of Agriculture to speed up the processing of young farmer payment applications and the Minister also agreed to increase the number of payment runs to two per week until all young farmers applications and payments have been processed.
The Macra na Feirme President also highlighted the annoyance of farmers and difficulty in communicating with the Department of Agriculture to establish the status of applications.
Mr. Finan said, “If farmers knew the status of applications and the lines of communication with the Department of Agriculture were open, then this would ease the frustration experienced”.
The Minister acknowledged and accepted that there was a communication issue and that he said this was going to be addressed.
Macra na Feirme is calling for an immediate meeting of the Charter of Rights monitoring committee.
Mr. Finan concluded, "The delays experienced in receiving payments and dates of payments are outside the terms of the charter of rights agreement which Macra na Feirme was involved in negotiating with the Department of Agriculture. The Charter clearly outlines a commitment on the timeframe for answering calls and responding to queries."
Minister Coveney pointed out that Ireland is a long way ahead of other European countries in terms of the percentage of people who have received payment at this stage.