Wednesday, 9 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Under the Protocol on Direct Payments to Farmers, as agreed with the farming bodies, my Department is committed to paying the 2000 extensification premium in June 2001 and to having payments in all eligible cases completed by 30 June 2001, in line with EU rules.
140. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties encountered by a person (details supplied) in County Sligo; if he will approve payment of an installation aid grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13103/01]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): From the information provided the person named will not qualify for the national scheme of installation aid as the stocking level agreed under her rural environment protection scheme plan will not meet the minimum one man work unit requirement.
141. Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will examine the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if consideration will be given to the submission made by this person on 12 April 2001; and if full payment will be restored. [13141/01]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): On 15 December 2000 the above named applicant applied for the special beef premium on six animals. As one of the animals was female the animal was rejected with a penalty which resulted in a 16.6% reduced payment on the remaining five animals. The  applicant was invited to supply an explanation with supporting documentation in order that his case could be reviewed.
On 9 April 2001 a letter of appeal was received stating that the animal was registered as male in the applicant's own herd in error. The error was discovered during a private test on 20 February 2001. At that stage he contacted his veterinary surgeon and arranged to amend the passport and registration. The terms and conditions of the scheme require that applicants check that each animal is a castrated male and has the correct passport when claiming the special beef premium. These conditions also require applicants to inform the special beef premium unit in writing of any errors to applications before the Department has notified the applicant of a penalty.
As no new evidence was provided in the letter of 12 April, the penalty in accordance with paragraph 24 of the terms and conditions of the scheme is correct. The applicant has been informed of his right to appeal the decision.
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