Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 618 No. 1

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  602.  Mr. Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when she intends to issue the outstanding decisions under the national reserve; the number of applicants awaiting a decision; the number with outstanding queries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15341/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The position is that some 17,500 farmers submitted applications to the national reserve but when account is taken of the number of farmers who applied under two or more categories, over 23,000 files have to be processed. Following the first trance of allocations, 4,979 letters detailing allocations and 6,502 rejection letters have issued. Processing of applications is continuing and allocations will be made, where appropriate, over the coming weeks.

  603.  Mr. Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when the 2005 single payment will be issued to a person, details supplied, in County Sligo; if she will ensure that the lodged documentations will be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15346/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The person named submitted an application for the transfer of entitlements by way of inheritance under the single payment scheme. Following the initial processing of her application, she was requested on 13 April 2006 to have her daughters indemnify themselves from the payment. Upon receipt of the completed indemnity forms, my Department will make a decision on the application.

  604.  Mr. Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the reason a person, details supplied, in County Sligo has been penalised on their 2005 single farm payment and area based compensation allowance; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the landowner has advised that they have not had farming activity on the land in question; the avenues open to appeal; and [415]if she will make a statement on the matter. [15351/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  An application under the disadvantaged areas scheme and single payment scheme was received from the person named on 4 May 2005. Following computer validation, it emerged that one parcel which had been included by the person named on his application had also been included on the application of another scheme applicant.

The person named was written to on 19 October 2005 and asked to confirm his entitlement to the parcel in question or otherwise. The person named was advised that, if he was claiming the parcel in question, he was obliged to provide Land Registry deeds or a copy of a lease or rental agreement that clearly shows entitlement to this parcel.

As no such documentation was received from the person named, he was deemed not to have entitlement to the land in question and the case was therefore processed for payment, following application of the regulatory reduction penalty, as per the terms and conditions of both schemes. Should he wish to do so, the person named can seek a review of this decision by contacting the single payment unit in Portlaoise, in writing, outlining clearly the basis of his appeal.

  605.  Mr. Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the reason a person, details supplied, has not received a single payment; the amount that will be issued; when payment will be released; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15353/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The person named submitted an application for the transfer of entitlements by way of inheritance under the single payment scheme. Following processing of that application, the person named was notified on 20 January 2006 of the decision, that as the lands were leased, the entitlements could not be transferred by way of gift or inheritance. An application form for the transfer of entitlements by way of private contract clause was forwarded to the person named for completion. The application has been returned and is being examined. Once a decision has been made, the applicant will be immediately notified.

  606.  Mr. Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   her plans to increase forestry premiums for persons that entered the scheme in 1989 as no increase has been granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15360/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I am currently examining the appropriate level of forestry premium, in the context of [416]the overall package of incentives which are available from my Department.

  607.  Mr. Deenihan  Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when a single farm payment will be made available to a person, details supplied, in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15365/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The person named submitted an application under the force majeure measure of the single payment scheme on 6 February 2004. Having examined the circumstances and documentation submitted by him, it was deemed that his application did not satisfy the criteria laid down in Article 40 of Council Regulation EC No. 1782/2003, determining force majeure-exceptional circumstances. He was not an applicant under the premia and arable aid schemes during the reference period 2000-02 or the earlier reference period 1997-99. The herdowner was notified of this decision on 24 August 2004.

The person named submitted an application for an allocation of entitlements from the single payment scheme national reserve under category A, which caters for farmers who inherited land or received land free of charge or for a nominal sum from a farmer who had retired or died by 16 May 2005 and who had leased out his or her holding to a third party during the reference period 2000-02.

A formal letter outlining my Department’s decision in respect of the national reserve has issued to the person named. If he is dissatisfied with this decision, he now has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the independent appeals committee. An appeals application form is available from any of my Department’s offices or on the Department website at www.agriculture.gov.ie.

  608.  Mr. Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the reason persons, details supplied, in County Mayo were refused additional entitlements in view of the fact that they have increased their production over the years. [15386/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The persons named submitted an application for consideration of their circumstances under the force majeure-exceptional circumstances measure of the single payment scheme. Following careful examination of all aspects of this case, it was deemed that the circumstances did not satisfy the criteria laid down in Article 40 of Council Regulation EC No 1782/2003, determining force majeure-exceptional circumstances. A subsequent appeal of this decision to the independent single payment appeals committee was also unsuccessful. The persons named then requested a re-examination of their case by the Office of the Ombudsman and this re-examination is currently ongoing.

[417]The persons named submitted an application for an allocation of entitlements from the single payment scheme national reserve under category B, which caters for farmers who, between 1 January 2000 and 19 October 2003, made an investment in production capacity in a farming sector for which a direct payment under livestock premia and-or arable aid schemes would have been payable during the reference period 2000-02. Investments can include purchase or long term lease of land, purchase of suckler and-or ewe quota or other investments.

A formal letter outlining my Department’s decision on the national reserve application has issued to the persons named. If they are dissatisfied with this decision, they now have the opportunity to appeal the decision to the independent appeals committee. An appeals application form is available from any of my Department’s offices or on the Department website at www.agriculture.gov.ie.

  609.  Mr. Hayes  Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   when final payment will issue to a person, details supplied, in County Tipperary under the single payment scheme. [15388/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The person named submitted an application under the single payment scheme on 4 May 2005. While the herd number quoted had established 102.97 entitlements, payment in the amount of €6,989.15 in respect of only 65.85 entitlements issued on 22 December 2005. This reflected the total forage area of 65.85 hectares entered on his 2005 single payment application.

The person named submitted an application on 30 December 2005 to consolidate his entitlements under the consolidation measure of the single payment scheme. This application has been processed and is eligible for consolidation. However, only 26.25 hectares of the 37.12 hectare shortfall can be accounted for as land farmed during the reference period and now no longer available due to an expired rental agreement. A letter issued to the person named on 3 March 2006 explaining the position and requesting him to confirm whether or not he wishes to proceed with his consolidation application. This confirmation is necessary because if the consolidation application proceeds, 10.87 hectares of consolidated entitlements in respect of lands not declared on the 2005 single payment application will immediately revert to the national reserve. The single payment will issue to the person named when the completed confirmation form is returned to my Department.

  610.  Mr. P. Breen  Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the reason a person, details supplied, in County Clare has not received their single payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15410/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The person named submitted an application under the force majeure measure of the single payment scheme on 6 February 2004. Having examined the circumstances and documentation submitted, it was deemed that the application was successful and satisfied the criteria laid down in Article 40 of Council Regulation EC No. 1782/2003, determining force majeure-exceptional circumstances. The best possible option under the force majeure measure was applied in respect of the single payment entitlements for the person named. However, he was advised that there were no circumstances under the force majeure measure that provided for the allocation of additional entitlements regardless of the circumstances. He was further advised to consider submitting an application under the national reserve scheme.

Subsequently, the person named submitted an application for an allocation of entitlements from the 2005 single payment scheme national reserve under categories B and C. Category B caters for farmers who, between 1 January 2000 and 19 October 2003, made an investment in production capacity in a farming sector for which a direct payment under livestock premia and-or arable aid schemes would have been payable during the reference period 2000 to 2002. Category C which caters for farmers who, between 1 January 2000 and 19 October 2003, participated in the milk quota restructuring scheme and who converted to a farming sector for which a direct payment under the livestock and-or arable aid premium schemes would have been payable during the period 2000-02. It should be noted however that the rules governing the single payment scheme stipulate that an applicant who is found to be eligible under more than one category in the reserve may only receive an allocation of entitlements under whichever category is most beneficial to him/her.

A formal letter setting out my Department’s decision has issued to the person named. However should he be dissatisfied with my Department’s decision, he has the opportunity to appeal this decision to the independent payment appeals committee. An appeals application form is available from any of my Department’s offices or on the Department website at www.agriculture.gov.ie.


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