December 12, 2023
Government must deliver ACRES farm payments before Christmas – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has challenged the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture to ensure that ACRES farm payments are made before Christmas.
 
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Ms McDonald said:
 
“It has not been a good year in terms of the delays to a range of key farm payments. Farmers have already experienced serious delays to BISS payments and to payments under the ANC and Eco-Scheme. Thousands of these payments are still outstanding. 
 
“Now, this trend of delay is affecting payments under the Agri-Environmental Scheme, known as ACRES. Many Farmers have been told the best they can hope for is for these payments to land from February 2024.
 
“Farmers were actively encouraged by the government to undertake work and incur expenses under this scheme. Now, their bills are mounting up and they’ve been left high and dry as we approach Christmas.
 
“This is completely unacceptable.”
 
Ms McDonald called on the Taoiseach to ensure that Minister McConalogue steps in urgently and ensure outstanding ACRES payments are made before Christmas as promised.
 
Speaking after the engagement, Ms McDonald added,
 
“Junior Minister Martin Heydon today doubled down on the payment dates.
 
“My colleague Claire Kerrane has already been raising this matter.
 
“Minister McConalogue must now consider making advance payments and he should write to farmers to tell them when they will receive those payments. Thousands of farming families are depending on it.”

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