ICSA calls on Minister to extend farm safety grant deadline

August 31 time limit ‘too tight’
‘Many farmers under pressure to get work completed’

Sligo News File Online

Billy Gray, chairman,  ICSA National Rural Development Committee.
Billy Gray, chairman,
ICSA National Rural Development Committee.

ICSA rural development chairman has repeated his call for an extension to the deadline for the Farm Safety grant.  Mr Gray said that the deadline of August 31st was too tight and many farmers were under pressure to get work completed. 

“The deadline was always going to be a problem given that many farmers only got the go-head from the Department in the late spring and early summer.  The problem is more pronounced due to the fact that many builders and suppliers and their staff traditionally take holidays in the first few weeks in August.  Consequently, it is proving difficult to co-ordinate getting work done and paperwork in by the end the month.

“ICSA is calling on the Minister to recognise practical realities and extend the deadline by a month.  While we appreciate that the Department is under a tight deadline to get all applications processed and monies paid, account should be taken of the fact that some applicants have decided not to go ahead with the investment.  Also, a significant number of applicants have very straightforward investments which require relatively limited paperwork and receipts.  Also, as the inspection rate is 5%, the Department should be able to accommodate an extension.”

Mr. Gray said the scheme, which has a fund of €12.2 million, attracted over 6,000 applicants.

“Given the difficult financial situation at present on many farms along with the fact that some farmers might now opt for an investment under one of the new TAMS measures, it is likely that the number of applicants under the farm safety scheme that actually complete the work will be reduced well below 6,000,” he said