Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says there is “total confusion” over the ‘forgotten farmer’ saga.
On Tuesday, Deputy Fitzmaurice said he had been in contact this week with the Department of Agriculture on the vexed issue of funding for the ‘forgotten farmer.’ However, he got no satisfaction.
“Now they are saying that they cannot take the funding out of the National Reserve. There seems to be total confusion about this matter. I have asked for the numbers of farmers involved and I am still waiting for that information.
“The Single Farm Payment forms are out this week and it would be a travesty if Fianna Fáil and others persist in supporting this Government when there is a commitment written into the Programme for Government which states that the ‘forgotten farmer’ issue must be sorted out – yet it is blatantly disregarded again this year.
“We have talked often enough about the demise of rural Ireland and we have seen the numbers in farming dropping and yet here we are again with the Government giving the two fingers to young farmers who lost out in the past and the same thing is happening once again.
“I am calling on the farming organisations, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fáil and others to increase the pressure on the Government on this issue.”