The annual publication of those who receive the afforestation premium has being sought by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association. Spokesperson on forestry Gerry Loftus stated “how the payments all farmers receives through the various farm schemes is available for the public to view and similar rules should apply to those receiving afforestation premium.
Currently all afforestation premium is paid directly by the state unlike farm payments which has an EU involvement and this explains why these recipients have not had their payments made public. Mr Loftus added that “it is absolutely crazy how the tiny payments many farmers receive, remain open to public scrutiny while substantial payments received by multi-nationals and others through afforestation premium are kept secret.”
What needs to happen he continued “is an annual publication of those that receive these premiums which should include the recipient’s name, address, the total amount received and the county or counties that the forestry is located in.” For companies he added “the address should be that of their main office.”
He concluded by pointing out “how these premiums are funded from the public purse and as such need to be transparent with the general public entitled to know if Irish taxpayers are subsidising the profits of multinationals and absentee landowners.”