Allister hits out at ‘blanket approach’ on active farmers

Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �'Thursday 8th October 2015'TUV Leader Jim Allister MLA launched their new policy document 'A path to making Stormont work' with Richard Cairns TUV Vice Chairman (Left) and Councillor Timothy Gaston (Right).
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye �'Thursday 8th October 2015'TUV Leader Jim Allister MLA launched their new policy document 'A path to making Stormont work' with Richard Cairns TUV Vice Chairman (Left) and Councillor Timothy Gaston (Right).

TUV leader Jim Allister has slammed the Department of Agriculutre and Rural Development’s ‘blanket approach’ on active farmer determinations.

In a statement, Mr Allister said: “After ruminating for months on active farmer applications for direct payments, the department has issued hundreds of blanket refusals through standard letters which utterly fail to address the information allegedly deficient.

“It seems the department, instead of properly engaging over those months with the affected farmers, has sat back and issued a deluge of refusals as late as they could, forcing farmers into a protracted appeal process, whereas rational engagement could have ironed out many difficulties.

“The department needs in the weeks before 1st April to apply itself to assessing further details now being supplied by many farmers so as to approve many of these cases without recourse to the inordinate delays of the staged appeal process.”