Reps 4 deadline criticised

IFA Rural Development Chairman Tom Turley said while 11,000 farmers joined REPS 4 before the area aid deadline of 15th May, nevertheless a significant number were excluded from the scheme for this year. Mr. Turley said that tying the REPS application to the Single Farm Payment date has caused mayhem with many farmers missing the cut off date of the 15th May 2008. The IFA Rural Development Chairman said the 11,000 applications for REPS 4 include new applicants, REPS 2 farmers who have submitted Plans and will submit a Plan later in the year, and farmers who are moving from REPS 3 to REPS 4. He called for an early payment for these farmers under the new payment schedule. Mr. Turley said that following the earlier problems on REPS payments delays, it now estimated that €110m has been paid out to REPS 2 & 3 farmers in 2008.  It is now anticipated that around 60,000 farmers will be in REPS by the end of the year.