Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Estimates for Public Services 2019
Vote 30 - Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Supplementary)
I want to highlight problems farmers are having drawing down funding under the BEAM scheme. They have been refused. First, we were told the person who would be paid was the last person with a herd number who bought the cattle at the mart, but we find out now that is not what is happening. There is no real answer forthcoming. It seems that no one is entitled to get it if a dealer or mart supplied the cattle to the factory within the 30 days, and yet the farmers are not being paid and are being told that they will not be paid. We cannot understand the reason for this.
My other question may have been dealt with. It concerns felling licences and the building of roads. There has been an unseemly delay with the issuing of felling licences all year. The system has been completely held up in every aspect, including as it relates to contractors and farmers. The Minister referred to it. There is a bad feeling out there. In addition, serial objectors are delaying the building of roadways to bring out timber. Can anything be done in respect of such individuals? They should be obliged to pay a reasonable sum of between €2,000 and €3,000 in view of the fact that they are holding up work. One farmer I know is disabled as a result of a stroke and his family needs the money from the sale of the timber but they cannot build a road in order to get the timber out. That is very wrong. It does not encourage people who are thinking of going into forestry but rather it is steering them away from it. Could we do anything to prevent people making serial objections? I do not know what is the reason for it. Does the Minister or anyone else know why these individuals take it upon themselves to stop people building roads in order to bring out timber? Do they just want to paralyse the forestry sector altogether?