Coveney attacks on AEOS continue – Ó Domhnaill

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has expressed serious concern over Minister Simon Coveney’s continued attack on the Agri-Environment Options Scheme.

Senator Ó Domhnaill was commenting following confirmation from the Minister for Agriculture that he will not increase the payments on Natura land as planned by the previous Government.

Senator Ó Domhnaill explained, “The previous Government secured support from the European Commission last year to double the payments under AEOS for farmers on Natura land from €75 to €150.  The increase in the Natura land payment is essential to farmers who were forced to destock under the commonage framework plans, which resulted in considerable financial losses due to reduced single farm payments. 

“The previous Government set aside the funding for the increased payments this year. But despite this, the Minsiter for Agriculture Simon Coveney has now decided to scrap the increase.  He has cited budgetary constraints even though the total cost only amounts to a maximum of €4 million and that money has already been provided.

“This is just the latest attack on the AEOS since Minister Coveney took up office just over 100 days ago.  The new Minister has already slashed the maximum payments from €5,000 to €4,000.  Again, the funding for the full scheme was already allocated by the previous administration but Minister Coveney has now rowed back on this.

“I am also concerned that it is taking the Department of Agriculture so long to issue AEOS payments. No payments at all have been issued since January, with the department citing a problem with the computer system. Farmers are getting increasingly concerned about this delay at a time when many are already facing financial difficulties. I am asking the Minister to ensure that this ‘technical glitch’ is rectified immediately.”

Posted: Jun 21, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized