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Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton has described Government delays in paying farmers as “totally unacceptable”.

“Thousands of farmers are experiencing serious delays in receiving their 2010 Single Farm Payment as a result of new Department of Agriculture mapping requirements this year. Until farmer’s lands are fully digitally mapped onto the Department’s Land Parcel Identification System they will not receive their full 2010 payment.

“When I raised the matter with the Minister in the Dail last month, I was told that delays were due to the large increase in maps received this year. He also advised that additional staff had been allocated to process maps and payments. However, it is clear from the large number of calls I have been receiving to my office that many farmers are still awaiting payment.

“The Department began issuing advance payments, to the value of 50%, on 18th October. Last month, 110,438 of these payments had been made and there were approximately 11,500 farmers who had still not received any monies at all. .

“It seems that following consultation with the European Commission, the Department of Agriculture are now issuing interim balancing payments to farmers affected by the mapping delays. However, these farmers will still have to wait until their land is fully digitally mapped before receiving their full 2010 payment until at least the New Year.

“Delays like this are very unfair to farmers, many of whom are operating in a very difficult business climate. In failing to pay the full Single farm Payment on time, the Government are making it very difficult for farmers to honour loans and other financial commitments.