A row has broken out over Plaid Cymru’s call for extra support to be given to farmers struggling because of delayed Glastir payments after the Welsh Government denied late payments could be made.
Both NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales said farmers were having to wait much longer for their payments than they had in previous years and it was causing them significant problems.
But a Welsh Government spokesman refused to comment on any possible hardship, saying ‘there are no late payments for Glastir as there is no payment window’.
NFU Cymru president Stephen James told Farmers Guardian he was ‘increasingly concerned’ at the length of time it was taking to make the payments.
“We were led to believe payments would be received in February, which in itself was three months later than when payments began in the previous scheme year”, he said.
A FUW spokesman blamed the hold-ups on the complexity of the new schemes and the large number of agreements, coupled with ‘significant cuts’ to Welsh Government resources, but added there was little consolation for those still waiting months after costs had already been incurred.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Simon Thomas reacted angrily to the Welsh Government’s response and said it needed to ‘step up to the mark’.
“Though there is no payment window, there are a considerable number of applications still to be decided and resolved”, he added.
“This is running into the end of the financial year and the decision to leave the EU also means farmers are keen to invest in improvements and work while they can”.
The Welsh Government is aiming to pay all except the most complex claims by the end of April.