Speaking from Brussels today Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada noted the publication by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of a booklet on land eligibility, however she expressed concern at a continued lack of clarity for farmers.
“The publication of this booklet is a tacit acknowledgment by Minister Coveney that the whole question of land eligibility has been mismanaged by Government to the detriment of farmers.
“The fact that this 29 page booklet replaces a 3 page document, shows the lack of information and guidance that farmers were relying on previosuly. This confusion and uncertainty has led to farmers being penalised for ‘overclaims’, while the blame rests squarely at Simon Coveney’s feet. Retrospective penalties on the basis of unclear information need to be rescinded immediately.
“The booklet is a step in the right direction, however serious ambiguities and uncertainties remain. I have written to the Minister calling for an amnesty for retrospective penalties levied on LPIS overclaims and for refunds to be issued immediately.