Reports today in papers that the Department of Agriculture are requiring that public service ID card will be required when farmers are making applications for EU grants next year is actually laughable.
A farmer can’t be a farmer if they do not have land and herd/ flock number so it’s hard to see how the new card is needed as you get paid on the land you have and if there’s a double claim it’s picked up straight away . This new ID card is being introduced in connection with online applications and Minister Creed and the Government are showing no regard for elderly people some of whom never opened a computer in their lives and always farmed their land quietly and effectively.
The Minister and the Department are trying to force everybody into dealing online but it may be worth his while look at the state of broadband in a lot of areas which is very poor, and in some areas as there is no phone coverage, never mind an adequate broadband service.
On many fronts this government seems to be throwing their hands up into the air saying “what can we do?, Yesterday it was school transport situation and now today we have Minister Creed saying it’s Europe that is making us introduce this system. We need leadership right now and we need Ministers to stand up and be counted on a number of fronts.
I’m writing to Europe today to see are they going to be that heartless to force elderly farmers especially those who don’t own a computer or have any broadband service to have to either travel long distances to get their applications in or maybe it will force them out of applying for grants altogether and I feel the latter would suit the Government and Brussels.
Farming organisations need to wake up now and stand up for the farmers they represent and take on this Government and the bureaucrats in Brussels . If they stand back and do nothing this will happen gradually. The Department should be able to cater with 20% paper applications which is the trend at the moment . Surely that is not too much to ask.

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