Why the Delay?
St Patricks day, a day when all things Irish are celebrated on the international stage and Ireland as a nation puts itself in the world shop window, however if we were to look in the mirror and measure ourselves according to the yardstick espoused by Gandi “a nations greatness in measured by how it treats it weakest members” them we still have a way to go to live up to the image we portray to the outside world.
Take the case of some of the most marginalised and isolated in our society, the small farmer, who have been shamefully treated and ignored by our Government by the failure to deliver long overdue farm payments to them.
The fact that, irrespective of delays, it was Christmas 2016 before there were any payments issued in respect of GLAS the flagship environmental scheme of the Rural Development Plan (RDP) 2013-2020 demonstrates the lack of commitment to those who depend on these payments. As we pass St Patricks Day 2017 and many still not paid it is a shocking indictment of the indifference ofMinister Creed and his department to the struggles of these farmers to make ends meet and to provide for their families.
Why Minister is the small farmer treated with such contempt?
What other sector of society or indeed what other sector of agriculture would the current situation be acceptable?
Where is the basic fairness in a system, where if the farmer misses a deadline by a day or is in minor breach of a regulation heavy penalties are imposed, while on the other hand inefficiency, incompetence, and most worryingly many believe, deliberate procrastination, is tolerated in your department and nobody is held to account.
Ireland prides itself on having the best educated IT workforce in the world capable of attracting high tech industry to Ireland. It is inconceivable that we cannot bring in a few experts to sort out “IT issues” allegedly holding up payment long overdue to farmers.
Or is it Minister that you don’t want to.