The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has welcomed changes made by Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Séan Canney, to the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection funding scheme.
IFA Flood Project chairman, Padraic Joyce, said the IFA had raised this issue some time ago and had presented proposals to Minister Canney. According to the IFA, farmers and farmland had been discriminated against in the cost-benefit analysis as the calculation of benefits to determine whether funding was made available for flood defence works, or measures to alleviate flooding, did not account for the agricultural losses resulting from flooding,
One of the main changes of relevance includes the increase of the upper financial threshold from €500,000 to €750,000 per project, and, for the first time, farm yards/buildings will be included as commercial premises in all categories.
Mr Joyce said it is important that the cost-benefit analysis recognises agricultural losses as projects were being turned down on the basis that they did not meet the old criteria.
The IFA will be meeting the OPW over the coming days for further clarification on the issues involved and to ensure that projects previously turned down will now get the go-ahead.