Independent TD for Roscommon / Galway Michael Fitzmaurice has said that costs associated with GLAS and other schemes are far too much and that government must step in and investigate Teagasc and other bodies.
"The costs associated with farmers participation in GLAS and other schemes is astronomical and the Government will have to investigate Teagasc, Agricultural planners and vets, some of whom are charging huge sums for work associated with these schemes.’
Fitzmaurice’s comments came after he was contacted by several farmers who said that getting into the GLAS scheme were in the region of 400/450 euro although due to additional soil sampling tests and nutrient management plans that cost may well be higher.
"It is ironic that Teagasc, which is supported with state funding, are the leading agency when it comes to charging these farmers. Teagasc is being double paid at the expense of farmers who are struggling to keep bread and butter on the table"
Fitzmaurice added that;
"It may not be popular to say this straight out but I think the onus is on us to address this situation with the way farmers are being treated. I have also put in a question to the Department about the 1500/2000 farmers who did not get into GLAS 2. We were told that they would get priority to get into the new scheme but I have not had a straight answer on that yet from the Department or the Government.. It would seem to me that there does not appear to be priority for these farmers who applied for the scheme and who were not accepted. Remember that these farmers were told at the time of the election that they would be prioritised and politicians went around the country talking about it"
"I will be further investigating the amount of money going into Teagasc from the Government in addition to what they are getting from farmers for the different schemes. The ordinary planners need to be competitive too and need to realise that farmers do not have money coming out of their ears and they should charge competitive and acceptable rates" he concluded.
You can watch more on this from Michael Fitzmaurices speech in the Dail