Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has welcomed an announcement from the Minister for Agriculture to extend the deadline for scorecards under ACRES.
Speaking this evening, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I have repeatedly been asking the Minister since early last month to extend the deadline for the submission of scorecards under ACRES.
“It’s been very clear that Advisors have been under huge pressure in meeting the demand especially given ACRES was so heavily oversubscribed, which is a good thing. However, this was about fairness for Advisors while also ensuring they were given adequate time to ensure scorecards could be submitted on time to ensure Farmers were paid.
“I had been clear with Minister McConalogue that an extension of time until the end of September, as I had proposed, was a small tweak to the Scheme that would help to ensure it is a success for those in it.
“It is a pity that the Minister did not make this announcement sooner and reduce the stress many Advisors have been under. They had, in my opinion been given an impossible task with a deadline of the end of next month.
“There have also been issues with the delay to the launch of the app and we know that some Advisors are having issues uploading to the app with poor coverage in parts. This extra time was badly needed.
“I hope that this extension will give some peace of mind to Advisors and reassurance to Farmers who’ve put their faith in this Scheme and that the Department and Minister will be quicker in future in making decisions that are sought in good faith from Farmers.”