Hold-up in GLAS payments has reached ‘tipping point’

The ongoing hold-up in GLAS payments to 10,000 farmers has reached a tipping point according to the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA).

The last week has seen the INHFA office once again inundated with calls from irate farmers regarding the non payment of monies, this time it is GLAS, the association said.

It said that the issue is further being compounded by its members inability to get any information when the ring the GLAS helpline in Johnstown Castle.

INHFA National Chairman, Vincent Roddy, said farmers can no longer be treated as second class citizens which is something the Government, the Minister and officials inside the Department of Agriculture need to understand.

“In the run-up to Christmas assurances were given that farmers would be paid 85% of their GLAS payments with the remainder to be paid in the New Year.”

For up to 10,000 farmers this has not happened and you have to ask, what other sector in Irish society would accept this.

The INHFA said it was led to believe that problems relating to the Department’s IT system is the main issue affecting the hold-up.

This has also been a factor for other schemes including the Basic Payment and ANC, it said.

These delays the INHFA believe, are not acceptable and said farmers should not be penalised for the Department’s inability to sort out their own problems.

“It is now incumbent on the Minister to publicly clarify what the problem is and what measures are being taken to address it.

“Also when farmers can expect to be paid? This should should be days and not weeks.”

He concluded by reminding the Minister of the Farmers Charter of Rights adding how this has been consistently breached not just with regard to payments.

“The INHFA has repeatedly raised this point and we will no longer tolerate these breaches.”

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