£5m hardship scheme for farmers welcome

29 03 2013

Sheep and Lamb 

 

SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge haves welcomed news that the Executive has agreed a £5m hardship scheme for farmers hard hit during the cold weather crisis and said there can be no bureaucratic or undue delay in getting emergency cash payments to farmers.

 Councillor Cunningham said: “It is good news that fallen livestock will be collected and disposed of free of charge. This will help lift the financial burden off farmers who have not only lost valuable income but will be out significant sums of money as they try to cope with this loss.

 “The SDLP also welcomes news of an emergency hardship fund and we eagerly await details of that scheme. It is vital that emergency cash payments are made as soon as possible to those farmers in need. DARD officials cannot allow any bureaucratic or undue delay to tie assistance up”.

“We would urge all affected farmers to make immediate contact with DARD for eligibility purposes and application forms.  Should any farmer experience problems or delays with clarifications on eligibility or payment purposes, please do not hesitate to contact us so that representations can be made to DARD.

 “Crucial to this experience is the need for the Assembly Executive to have an adequate emergency scheme in place which is capable of dealing with such unprecedented events.  It is important that such a co-ordinated alleviation package swings into action immediately in the wake  of extreme weather events.  Communities including farmers need to be assured that the Executive has measures in place to work in partnership with local communities to provide humanitarian and farming aid – that is the lesson that must be learnt from this extreme weather event”.

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