Irwin concerned by payments delay

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Stormont Agriculture Committee chairman William Irwin MLA has spoken of his concern at the delay in processing Basic Farm Payment inspection reports.

Mr Irwin said he had been speaking to farmers who had received land inspections in June and he revealed those inspection reports had yet to be compiled or processed.

He said: “I have spoken at length with farmers who remain concerned that inspections on their land carried out by DARD many months ago in regards to their Basic Farm Payment applications, currently remain unprocessed. That raises serious questions in terms of the process and the level of resources that are available for processing Basic Farm Payment applications.

“What concerns me most is the fact that with the new system of payments, we still seem to have the old problems. Within the previous Single Farm Payment system, the level of delays were shocking and in real terms costs farmers dearly having to wait months and months on their much needed payments.

“I have spoken to sources within DARD who confirm that there are delays with the processing of inspection reports – it is deeply concerning that farmers will again be without their payments at the very time they need the finance.”