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Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARM FINANCE - Stephen Cado­gan

The TAMS grant scheme has led to un­ex­pected cash flow is­sues for farm­ers, and a sys­tem of split pay­ments for TAMS projects dis­tinct in­vest­ments would re­solve the is­sue, ac­cord­ing to ICMSA.

ICMSA’s Farm and Ru­ral Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man, Patrick Ro­han, said farm­ers in gen­eral would have sub­mit­ted one ap­pli­ca­tion for TAMS that in­cludes a num­ber of dis­tinct and sep­a­rate in­vest­ments on their farm. They must com­plete all the in­vest­ments ap­plied for be­fore any TAMS pay­ment is made.

The feed­back, Mr Ro­han said, from ICMSA mem­bers, is that farm­ers are com­mit­ted to com­plet­ing the in­vest­ments, but split pay­ments are needed to re­lieve cash flow pres­sures. For ex­am­ple, he said, a farmer may have ap­plied for a calf house, a loose house, and a silage slab. He or she must com­plete the three sep­a­rate in­vest­ments be­fore any grant is paid.

“If the calf house is com­pleted first, the farmer should be al­lowed to sub­mit a pay­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for the calf house, get paid on it and then pro­ceed with the next phase of in­vest­ment.” Mr Ro­han said split TAMS pay­ments would in­crease up­take of the TAMS scheme, and would im­prove the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of farm­ers’ projects.

It would con­sid­er­ably ease farmer cash flow fears and would free up cash for the next phase of the in­vest­ment and re­duce bank­ing costs. It would also en­sure that the an­nual bud­getary al­lo­ca­tions for TAMS are bet­ter utilised.

“The Depart­ment had such a sys­tem in place in the past, and it op­er­ated suc­cess­fully,” said Mr Ro­han.

Patrick Ro­han, ICMSA: says TAMS has led to un­ex­pected cash flow is­sues for farm­ers.

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