Irwin welcomes payment progress

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Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has welcomed progress on advanced Basic Farm Payments.

Mr Irwin said the advanced payments which had been hitting farmers accounts in the past few days, were coming at a “very opportune time”.

He stated: “The fact that 97% of farmers will have received their payments early is of immense assistance, especially at this time of depressed prices in the beef and dairy sectors.

“This advanced payment system has a great benefit in terms of allowing farmers to respond to the current price squeeze and that will help the wider agri-sector.”

He added: “As of Thursday 31st October, the vast bulk of payments will have been sent to farm accounts however it is also important to note that for the 3% of farmers who await a payment, this will be cold comfort.

“I have been assured by DAERA payment officials that work on remaining payments will intensify to complete the process as soon as possible.”

“This is a significant amount of work for payments staff to manage and this work is very welcomed and appreciated by farmers across the country.

“Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has been able to deliver an advanced payments scheme and Departmental staff must be commended for this.”