Thursday, 20 October 1977
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Bruton: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he has as yet made any representations to the EEC Commission in relation to the farm  modernisation scheme; and if he will indicate the date and nature of these representations.
Mr. Bruton: asked the Minister for Agriculture when he proposes to introduce higher grants for on-farm storage and handling facilities for tillage crops; and if he will indicate the total annual extra moneys he proposes to make available for this purpose.
Mr. Bruton: asked the Minister for Agriculture when he proposes to provide the 3 per cent subsidy on interest rates for farmers who come within an expanded development category in an agricultural loan scheme for long-term financing of farm development; the number of farmers likely to qualify who do not qualify for development status under the farm modernisation scheme; and if the subsidy will be in addition to or in substitution for existing aids.
Mr. Bruton: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he proposes to introduce a simplified farm planning form under the farm modernisation scheme; if so, by whom the preparation work for such a form is being carried out; the particular aspects of the form which are likely to be changed; and the date by which the new form is likely to be introduced.
At the meeting of the EEC Council of Ministers on 19th July I took the opportunity to press for appropriate changes in the directive on the modernisation of farms. I was assured that the Commission expected to present proposals for substantial changes in the structural directives to the Council in the near future.
Such matters as the type and levels of aid to be made available to farmers and the revised procedures, including the forms which might be adopted in the operation of the farm modernisation scheme, will fall to be examined in the light of such modifications to the directives as will be decided upon by Council in due course.
Mr. Bruton: Would the Parliamentary Secretary agree that the Fianna Fáil Party in paragraph 4 of their manifesto gave a specific commitment to introduce the 3 per cent subsidy on interest rates and that no reference was made to seeking EEC approval prior to that? Would he further agree in relation to the introduction of a simplified planning form a commitment was again given by Fianna Fáil to introduce that without any reference to seeking EEC approval?
Mr. Hussey: The special provision allowing for favourable levels of aids to these farmers is valid to 31st December next. It will be my concern to ensure that appropriate provision will continue to be made for these farmers after that date.
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