FIS commitments must be honoured

IFA President, Padraig Walshe said commitments reached in Partnership that the Farm Improvement Scheme (FIS) would be available to farmers for the full duration of the Rural Development Plan up to 2013 must be fully honoured. At an IFA Executive Council meeting in Dublin, it was unanimously decided that the Government must re-open application for the demand led FIS. ‘It is not acceptable that a scheme available for a seven year period was open for just 100 days’, he said. Mr. Walshe said, ‘The current situation whereby 7,200 applicants who applied up to October 21st are being dealt with, and the remaining 5,400 farmers left waiting for their applications to be processed, is totally unacceptable.’ He said that any farmer who applied for FIS up to October 31st has a legitimate expectation that they will be eligible for grant aid as the scheme was still open to applications from farmers. The IFA President also pointed out that the FIS is an integral part of Partnership where agreement was reached that demand-led schemes would be fully supported. The FIS has had a very positive effect on the investment plans of farmers in supporting competitiveness and meeting strict environmental regulations being demanded.