ICMSA say concessions on payment dates and TAMS “overwhelmed by scale of Nitrates mess”.
Commenting after the meeting with Minister McConalogue, ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, said that his association’s message had been as simple as it was necessary: “We told Minister McConalogue that he just has to go back and get this unscientific reduction changed to take account of undeniable realities. This is not an abstract consideration; for hundreds of farmers the decision he accepted yesterday means that generations of farming will end, it literally is as simple as that. That can’t happen, and it certainly can’t happen when the kind of sweeping measures we’ve already introduced to improve water quality have not even been given a chance to demonstrate their effectiveness”, said Mr. McCormack.
The ICMSA President said that Minister had made certain undertakings on payments dates, confirming that approved 2024 payments will be made on the dates that had applied in 2022 – ICMSA requested that this should also apply to 2023 payments. In answer to identified procedural glitches on TAMS (Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes), Minister McConalogue said that 100% of those who applied under Tranche 1 will receive approval and that mobile equipment can be purchased prior to approval. He also undertook to fast-track approval for applications concerning slurry storage.
Though he welcomed the concessions and clarifications offered, Mr McCormack said that they were wholly overwhelmed by the scale of the mess in which the Government had landed 3,000 Irish family farms. “We have to see what we can rescue from the absolute mess in which the Irish Government’s apathy has landed thousands of Irish farmers. There’s no time for handwringing or pretence anymore; we have to go back and get the Commission to recognise that this reduction solves absolutely nothing and just makes existing problems worse. Those are the facts and it’s up to the Minister to get them in from of the EU Commissioner”, said Mr. McCormack.
Ends 7 September 2023
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