“DEARA failure to bid for extra funding is astounding” – Slieve Gullion Councillor | Newry Times

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Monday, February 1st, 2021
Politics

Slieve Gullion Cllr Oonagh Magennis has expressed ‘serious concern’ that DAERA has not bid to the Department for Finance for any of the additional COVID funding which was announced by the Finance Minister.

 

"DEARA failure to bid for extra funding is astounding" - Slieve Gullion Councillor | Newry Times -Coronavirus Covid19 Newry news

 

“At the recent committee, Sinn Fein’s Agricultural spokesperson, Declan McAleer MLA, asked what bids the Department had made in response to the urgent call by the Finance Minister for bids.

 

 

“He said he was astonished to learn that the Department has not identified any additional need and as such has not submitted any bids.”

Councillor Magennis continued, “Farmers and rural community organisations in south Armagh were at the forefront of the response to COVID.

“And many of these same organisations are carrying substantial overheads and running costs for buildings that are not currently in use due to the restrictions.

 

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“Farmers are also feeling the brunt of a collapse in demand for steak and other high-value cuts but have to keep producing food while adhering to COVID safety guidelines.

“Many of these primary producers are hill farmers and they are experiencing the additional pressures of no ANC payment and extra losses due to the Minister’s decision to halt the transition towards a flat rate of Single Farm Payment entitlements.

 

 

“I believe that a scheme could be developed within the next few weeks to help these and other sectors impacted.

“I just find it unacceptable that the Department has not identified any need for additional funds despite the urgent call for bids.

“This will result in lost opportunities.

She added, “And I feel strongly that rural communities all over the North are being let down in this regard.”

 

 

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE

 

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