Time for Agricultural Minister to consider his position as thousands of farmers plunged into cash flow crisis

Fine Gael West Limerick TD, Dan Neville has called on Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to consider his position following announcement that payment of the Farm Waste Management Scheme will now not be fully completed until 2011.

“Over 17,000 farmers have today been told that they will have to wait until 2011 before they receive full payment of grant aid that they expected in 2009. This presents thousands of farm families throughout the country with a very difficult cash flow situation. While the Minister may take a laissez faire approach to this situation, the bank manager is not as forgiving when it comes to calling on farmers.

“This has a corollary impact on banking finances, as farmers have borrowed heavily in order to finance works under this scheme and now are finding it difficult to meet repayments. On a day when the Government plans to plough €7 billion into the banks it is incredible that the Minister will deny farmers what they are owed.

“The Minister has plunged thousands of farmers into serious financial difficulty with this announcement. His position is untenable.”