1,166 farmers still awaiting AEOS payments

Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy has described the Knowledge Transfer online system for farmers as “abysmal and chaotic“.

“These online portals for submitting farm improvement plans – which for livestock farmers includes: a breeding plan; a grassland management plan; a farm safety plan; a profit monitor; and a veterinary herd health plan – were already delayed for months before the system went live,” said Murphy.

Murphy went on to explain how the system then repeatedly crashed and only eventually went live on May 16.

“I also understand that the online system for booking meetings with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has also crashed.

“It simply beggars belief and has descended into an abysmal mess,” he said.

AEOS payments

Murphy also raised the issue of delays in AEOS payments. Latest figures he obtained through a parliamentary question have revealed that there were a total of 1,166 farmers owed €3,141 under the AEOS scheme, as of May 18.

Farmers throughout the country are getting increasingly frustrated and angry at this ongoing situation, according to the Fianna Fail TD.

“In Co. Galway 164 farmers are awaiting AEOS payments; while in Co. Roscommon 50 farmers have been left waiting for these vital payments. There is a similar situation in Co. Leitrim with 49 farmers still waiting on payment.

“I am dealing with representations from farmers in my area who were approved for 100% AEOS payments in December and January and despite their repeated enquiries and efforts they are still waiting. It seems that no payment runs have been made by the department and people are just being fobbed off with excuse after excuse.

“It simply is not good enough to say it’s an IT issue. Minister Creed must consider a plan B. The government should have a fund to make these payments and take the farmers out of this strife, and then recoup the money when the IT system is replaced or repaired,” Murphy said.

The issue of delays in TAMS II payments was also raised by Murphy in the Dail this week. Up to 20 farmers in Co. Roscommon and 34 farmers in Co. Galway have experienced delays in their payments, according to Murphy.

“Farmers are now reporting serious cash-flow issues as a result of these extensive delays. Minister Creed is neglecting farmers who have invested thousands of euro in various schemes and who have made plans in anticipation of these payments,” concluded Murphy.