Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
The difficulty is we are dealing with farmers who do not have this type of money. They received this payment because it was recognised they were in exceptional difficulties. To give the Minister of State a sense of the amounts involved, in my constituency in County Cavan 133 farmers will be expected to pay back €157,000 and in Monaghan 138 farmers will be expected to pay back €193,000. If they cannot make those payments within 30 days they will be expected to pay a 3% penalty rate. I would like a direct answer to this question. Will the Department make contact with the European Commission to find flexibility to allow those farmers who did not, for whatever reason, and in some cases it was because they were not fully aware of the proposition, seek an extension, which they can now do, or measures such as Deputy Cahill said that would allow flexibility in the repayments? The Minister of State has outlined the current situation but we will not know if we can change it unless we ask.