The situation with regard to the Glas Scheme is totally unacceptable and it is a major issue among small farmers that I am meeting on the doorsteps during this campaign.
Letters have been sent out to farmers in this constituency and all over the country telling them that they they do not qualify for the Glas scheme because they are classed as Tier 3 farmers. The Minister must realise that many of these farmers are sheep farmers who do not have slurry and others are on marginal land where they cannot sow wild bird cover. It once again shows the lack of understanding by Minister Coveney of the plight of samll farmers in the West of Ireland. There were only 1500 applications over the permitted level and I cannot understand why the Minister could not have let them all into the scheme. It is another income being taken off farmers in the West of Ireland. The old REPS scheme which was a good scheme for farmers saw every farmer who was eligible qualify but once again Minister Coveney seems to be only interested in big farmers and especially those down in his area of the country.