“The payment of outstanding monies due to farmers under the Single Farm Payment (SFP) and Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS) must be the priority of the Agriculture Department at this stage given the importance of these payments to farmer income, cash-flow and in meeting scheduled loan repayments due this time of year.”

This is according to Pat McCormack, deputy president and chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, speaking following a meeting of the Farmers Charter. “Farmers will be liable for the surcharges imposed by banks where payments are delayed and it is thus essential that these payments are made immediately,” he said.

According to McCormack: “While ICMSA acknowledges the progress made by the department in issuing payments, we are still obliged to point out that 11,000 farmers are still waiting for the SFP and 14,000 are waiting for the DAS.”

“The problems around these outstanding SFP payments seem to centre on over-claim issues while there are problems around the stocking rates that have led to the non-payment of DAS, the department must deal with these matters immediately,” said Mr McCormack.

The ICMSA deputy president welcomed the payment of 75 per cent of the REPS 4 premium in November. He said: “Some 75 per cent will be paid where no follow-up action is required, the remaining 25 per cent will be paid when all of the spot checks have been carried out this year, that’s targeted to be Mid-December and payment will follow after that.”

On the TAMS dairy scheme McCormack said: “It has also received good news insofar as a reallocation of monies from other schemes means that all valid applicants for the tranche that ended 31st August will be paid. This in turn means that those applying for the last tranche at the years end should be successful in their application.”