Cllr Toman Says Single Farm Payment Delays Leaving Farmers Under Pressure
SDLP councillor Toman says delays in Single Farm Payments are leaving some farmers under pressure and struggling to pay bills. He said the concern is mounting as some farmers have revealed they are facing pressure to pay their autumn bills.
Cllr Toman who sits on the NILGA agriculture committee said: “The picture is really only starting to emerge. Farmers who have contacted me to say they were expecting to receive their Single Farm Payment two to three weeks ago. They’re saying they would use that payment to pay suppliers for a variety of items, such as meal and fuel bills, land on conacre, and, in some cases, the banks.
“Now, they’re saying they’ve been told their land is to be inspected and they’ll have to just wait. Farmers are saying they should have been forewarned that payment would be delayed because at least they would have had time to make alternative arrangements to pay off suppliers and keep them happy, and in other cases, negotiate with the bank.
“What we’re seeing is serious pressure being placed on the finances of some farmers, and their cash flow. In some cases there is already enough pressure, so they don’t need this.
“I will be raising the matter with our Agriculture spokesperson, West Tyrone MLA Joe Byrne, who is vice-chairperson of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, to ensure the concerns of farmers are heard at the Assembly. “