Smith, Brendan

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 669 No. 3

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Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2008: Report Stage.

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Priority Questions - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: if, in the context of the suspension of the early retirement scheme and the young farmers installation aid scheme, he proposes to make concessions to would-be applicants under those schemes who have ...More Button

The 2009 budget was prepared against the background of a serious deterioration in the national finances. The limited resources available meant that difficult choices had to be made between competing ...More Button

I indicated to Deputy Creed previously when we met to discuss those issues and in reply to a previous parliamentary question that people whose applications were significantly progressed at the time en...More Button

The scheme was suspended due to budgetary constraints and that remains the position. Adequate provision has been made in the 2009 Estimates to meet all applications that were duly authorised and auth...More Button

Priority Questions - Sheep Sector.

Was asked: if he will deliver on his commitment to the sheep sector in view of the fact that the industry is in serious trouble and that the health check provides him with the flexibility and scope to make a sh...More Button

The possibility of support to the sheep sector will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP health check. That outcome provides that an additional amount of some €24 million annua...More Button

On the Deputy’s question on the EU conference in France in early September, people who listen to us participated actively and constructively at the meeting. At the conference, I outlined that the she...More Button

As Deputy Sherlock knows——More Button

I assure Deputy Sherlock that I have been entirely consistent on this issue.More Button

I have not shifted my position. Not one comma in any of my statements on the sheep sector has been shifted.More Button

I just want to state the facts. I have been entirely consistent. I said at the IFA meeting at Tullamore, where I was criticised for not making a commitment, that I made a commitment to seeking to ga...More Button

I have total respect for the people I have invited to the meeting.More Button

Priority Questions - EU Funding.

Was asked: the way he proposes to allocate to farmers funding accruing to his Department arising from the 5% reduction in the single farm payment as approved by him in negotiations on the CAP; and if he will ma...More Button

The agreed rates of additional modulation will generate approximately €120 million in total over the four years from 2009 to 2012 in transfers from the single farm payment to rural development. As I ...More Button

Our national contribution in respect of the rural development programme far exceeds our national requirement. These new measures will probably serve as an addendum to the existing programme. Our co-...More Button

Absolutely. There may be a perception that the funds will be allocated for some rural development measures beyond the farm gate but this is not true. The modulated funds will be allocated for on-far...More Button

With the level of modulation coming in at present, we would have to put our proposal to Brussels. The decision on whether our co-financing is adequate will be made there. The current national Excheq...More Button

Priority Questions - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his views on whether he has secured a good deal for Irish farmers under the CAP; the benefits to the farming sector here from the deal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am satisfied that I have secured a very good deal for Irish farmers in the recent health check negotiations. The deal is worth €70 million in additional payments to farmers over the coming years. ...More Button

I assure Deputy Sherlock that we are considerably in excess of the EU requirement. My understanding is that we will continue to be so, even with the new programme. If the need arises we will discuss...More Button

I assure the Deputy that large member states such as France and Germany were totally opposed to any increase in milk quota. We got the butterfat adjustment which is the equivalent of a 2% increase wh...More Button

Priority Questions - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: if he has quantified the social and economic implications of the proposed cuts in quota and total allowable catch prior to the December 2008 Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting; and if he will mak...More Button

Other Questions - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: his views, as a matter of urgency, on the necessity to introduce a revised forest road scheme to assist farmers to build the required forest roads infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

Other Questions - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: when he will introduce administrative sanctions for minor fisheries offences here in view of the recent EU decision to implement administrative sanctions on a harmonised basis throughout Europe; and ...More Button

Ireland has a very important position as custodian of some of the largest and richest fishing waters within the EU, but also in our location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland continues to ma...More Button

This is not the first time I have heard Deputy Sheehan raise this issue at either the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food or this Chamber. I indicated in my reply: Previous advice from...More Button

No.More Button

First, I wish to correct Deputy Ferris by stating there is no lack of political will or sincerity on this side of the House in respect of this or any fisheries issue. Neither he nor I is in a positio...More Button

According to the Minister of State, Deputy Killeen, Deputy Jim O’Keeffe put forward some constructive proposals on this matter and I thank him for them.More Button

Yes. I repeat the advice available to me, that the possibility of introducing a Minister’s sanction was comprehensively considered, including examination of practice in other member states, at the tim...More Button

In the many meetings that the Minister of State, Deputy Killeen, and I have had with individual Members of the Oireachtas and with the Federation of Irish Fishermen, these issues have been raised. In...More Button

I am not going to state that I can bring in legislation immediately. The Government is advised by the Attorney General and that advice will be forthcoming.More Button

Other Questions - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: when he will launch the tending and first thinnings of broadleafs scheme as announced by his Department earlier in 2008 but never launched; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Other Questions - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: if he will allow an extension of the period by which farmers can complete work under the farm waste management scheme as is the case in Northern Ireland where farmers have obtained additional time to...More Button

The deadline of 31 December 2008 for completion of work by farmers under the revised farm waste management scheme introduced by my Department in March 2006 is a condition of the EU state aid approval ...More Button

There is no merit in comparing the scheme in the three Ulster counties in this jurisdiction with the remaining 23 counties. The scheme rolled out by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development...More Button

One of the reasons for getting the extension to the end of December 2008 was the existence of adverse weather conditions. Unfortunately, those conditions have not improved in the meantime.More Button

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2008: Report Stage (Resumed).

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Amendment put.
No IndicatorVoted No More Button

Agriculture: Motion (Resumed).

That is not correct. I was asked to do a one-to-one interview.More Button

Amendment put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question again put: “That the motion, as amended, be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when he will introduce a payment per ewe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The possibility of support to the sheep sector will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP Health Check. That outcome provides that an additional amount of some €24 million annual...More Button

Written Answers - Pig Sector.

Was asked: the initiatives he proposes to introduce to restore profitability to the pig sector here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The relevant EU market support measures — private storage and export refunds — assisted the sector over the last year. Ireland raised the possible re-introduction of export refunds for fresh and froze...More Button

Written Answers - Food Shortages.

Was asked: his views on whether there is a threat to staple fruit and vegetable crops here due to climate change which is going to cause major changes in farming practices; the plans he is making to plan for fu...More Button

I am very much aware that the future health of Ireland’s agriculture sector is inextricably linked with the ability of Irish farmers to respond, in a sustainable way, to both the challenges and the o...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: the implications of a bilateral agreement on fisheries between the EU and Norway; the consequences for the fishing industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The EU/Norway bilateral negotiations follow on from the Coastal States Negotiations which set the over all Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for certain stocks in the Northeast Atlantic in which Ireland has...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: if he is satisfied that consumers are adequately informed and protected by existing labelling legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Minister for Health & Children has overall responsibility for the general food labelling legislation. Under the general labelling Directive (2000/13/EC), the place of origin of the foodstuff must...More Button

Written Answers - Common Fisheries Policy.

Was asked: the efforts he is making to have the Hague Preferences established as a principle of the Common Fisheries Policy as opposed to the annual negotiation currently required in the context of TAC and quot...More Button

When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, the Community received a very significant additional fishing resource out to the 200 mile limit. At that time however, Ireland’s fishing industry was totally unde...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the predictions by Teagasc economists that Ireland will have 12,000 dairy farmers in 2014 but only 9,000 if there is an unfavourable trade agreement; and if he will...More Button

I have noted the contents of Teagasc’s recently published medium-term outlook, which analyses prospects for the period 2008 to 2017. The findings are a reflection of the challenging environment facing...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: if he proposes to change the law whereby fishermen are the subject of criminal proceedings for minor infringements of fishing law and thereby bring Ireland in line with the EU Commission’s thinking o...More Button

Ireland has a very important position as custodian of some of the largest and richest fishing waters within the EU but also in our location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland continues to main...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: the timescale for the merging of the promotion element of Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Bord Bia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The seafood marketing and promotion element of Bord Iascaigh Mhara is to be merged with An Bord Bia. The Government’s initiative in transferring the seafood marketing and promotion functions to Bord ...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: his views on the proposed cuts in quotas and TAC across all fish species in the context of the recent decommissioning scheme which was supposed to provide additional quota to those remaining in the i...More Button

The very poor state of many whitefish stocks targeted by the Irish fishing fleet is clearly reflected in the decreases in annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quota allocations that Ireland receives...More Button

Written Answers - Genetically Modified Organisms.

Was asked: the progress made in relation to the programme for Government commitment to establishing a genetically modified free island; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Several Government Departments have responsibility for aspects of GM Policy and these are: Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government which has responsibility for the deliberate release ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Industry.

Was asked: when An Bord Bia will assume responsibility for marketing seafood; the staffing consequences for both An Bord Bia and Bord Iascaigh Mhara; if a specific budget will be ring-fenced for the seafood sec...More Button

The seafood marketing and promotion element of Bord Iascaigh Mhara is to be merged with An Bord Bia. The Government’s initiative in transferring the seafood marketing and promotion functions to Bord ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Prices.

Was asked: the action that is being taken to tackle rising inflation in food; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Changes in food prices are primarily a function of market forces operating at international, EU and national levels. Consistently strong economic growth in developing countries is a major driver of ch...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the number of applicants who have made commitments by way of land transfer and so on in order to qualify for the early retirement scheme; the way he proposes to treat them in view of the sudden closu...More Button

It is not possible to give an accurate assessment of the number of people who may have made commitments with a view to making an application under the Early Retirement Scheme, though I am aware of fi...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Diseases.

Was asked: if consideration is being given to the cessation of the importation of susceptible animals from BTV infected areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate checks and safeguards are in place to ensure Bluetongue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 114 together. The movement of susceptible animals within and from bluetongue restricted areas is subject to EU legislation which is kept under ongoing review an...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: if he will extend the deadline of 31 December 2008 for persons who have been approved for a farm waste management grant; if he has made approaches to the European Commission seeking an extension of t...More Button

The deadline of 31 December 2008 for completion of work by farmers under the revised Farm Waste Management scheme introduced by my Department in March 2006 is a condition of the EU state aid approval ...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if he will review the decision to cut €37 million from the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My approach in preparing the 2009 Estimates for my Department was to focus available resources on the measures which support the maintenance and growth of the productive capacity of the agri-food sect...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: his views on the progress in his Departments implementations of the Cawley report to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Strategy for a Restructured, Sustainable and Profitable Irish Seafood Industry 2007-13 (The Cawley Report) is the blueprint for the development of the seafood sector. An implementation group, the ...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: if, in view of the decision approved by the EU to extend the deadline beyond 31 December 2008 in Northern Ireland for completion of works to comply with the Nitrates Directive, he will revisit his de...More Button

The deadline of 31 December 2008 for completion of work by farmers under the revised Farm Waste Management Scheme introduced by my Department in March 2006 is a condition of the EU state aid approval ...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Fleet Modernisation.

Was asked: if he proposes to make funding available for decommissioning of boats of less than 18 m; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Steering a New Course, the Strategy for a Restructured, Sustainable and Profitable Irish Seafood Industry 2007-13 (The Cawley Report) recommended a restructured fishing fleet, consistent with the sust...More Button

Written Answers - Climate Change Strategy.

Was asked: the steps his Department is taking to combat climate change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The agricultural sector is already making a significant contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol allowed Ireland to increase emissions to a level 13% above 1990 l...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: his plans for the establishment of a dairy forum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I recently announced that I intend to convene a Dairy Forum. The purpose of the forum will be to take stock of the current situation on milk markets and to consider, in the light of the new policy dir...More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector.

Was asked: the implications for COFORD as a result of budget 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, it was decided by the Government, as announced on Budget Day, that COFORD (the National Council for Forest Research and Development) is to be merged into my Department. The im...More Button

Written Answers - Horticulture Sector.

Was asked: the efforts being made to promote the horticulture sector, address import substitution and secure export markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The horticulture and nursery sector contributed approximately €282 million to farm output in 2007. The sector has considerable potential for further development but is experiencing strong competitive...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of farmers paid to date and the amount of money paid out under the single payment scheme and the disadvantage areas compensatory allowance scheme; the number of applicants and funds availa...More Button

The net financial ceiling under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme is €1.274 billion, net of 5% Modulation, while the budgetary figure for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS) is €257 million, which also ...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Fleet Modernisation.

Was asked: the amount of the fund set aside for decommissioning that has been spent to date; the amount remaining; when the remaining funds will be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if there is money left over in the decommissioning allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 105 together. In February this year acting on a central recommendation from the Cawley report and following State Aid approval by the European Commission, a sch...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: when he will introduce EU Regulation 744/2008 emergency aid for the Irish fishing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the status of his request for an emergency aid package from the EU for the fisheries sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding his submission to the EU in August 2008 seeing €35 million in additional EU money for emergency aid for the fishing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 110 and 133 together. I have been actively pursuing this important matter at both Council and European Commission level. The Irish submission was the subject of a ...More Button

Written Answers - Food Processing Inspections.

Was asked: the number of veterinarians and inspectors employed to inspect poultry processing and meat processing plants; the amount it costs; if the inspectors make a distinction between locally produced and im...More Button

My Department, through its Veterinary Inspectorate, is responsible for the supervision of 165 large meat processing plants, including 10 poultry processing plants, which are approved under the Europea...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Schemes.

Was asked: if he will reverse the budget 2009 cuts in disadvantaged areas in view of the modulation cut to the single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My approach in preparing the 2009 Estimates for my Department was to focus available resources on the measures which support the maintenance and growth of the productive capacity of the agri-food sect...More Button

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision to cut the suckler cow welfare scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the impact of same in Counties Roscommon and Leitrim; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

In the‘Towards 2016’ Partnership Agreement, a commitment was made to provide funding of €250 million over the five years 2008 to 2012, in support of a suckler scheme. This commitment is being honoured...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: if he will request EU Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel to introduce early supports for the dairy sector in order to restore confidence and put a floor under current market prices; and if he wil...More Button

Following historically high dairy product prices last year and into the early part of 2008, dairy exporters are now facing difficulties as markets have contracted and prices have returned to 2006 leve...More Button

Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: his views on an annual environmental services payment for farmers who have undertaken the long term risk of producing broadleaf plantations here and thereby assist those farmers concerned in the shap...More Button

There are no proposals to introduce an additional annual payment for farmers who have planted broadleaf forests. My Department already provides very generous annual premium payments to farmers who pla...More Button

Written Answers - World Trade Organisation Negotiations.

Was asked: the steps he will take to undo the Mandelson proposals in view of the assessments carried out by Teagasc on the implications for agriculture here if EU concessions to the World Trade Organisation wer...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, no WTO agreement was reached at the July Ministerial meeting, despite exhaustive discussions over nine days. As of today, the Director General, Mr Lamy has not announced a...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the progress made on the forestry Bill; when he will publish the Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The current Forestry Act has been in place since 1946 and a new Forestry Bill is now required to update and consolidate the current regulatory regime in the light of modern forestry knowledge and prac...More Button

Written Answers - Officials Engagements.

Was asked: the countries he will make visits to during the next four months; the purposes of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Following is the statement:More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: the timeframe for payments to 11,000 farmers under REP scheme four; if payment will be made to those farmers before Christmas 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to different EU Regulations from the preceding versions of REPS. Under REPS 4, all payments are to be made in j...More Button

Written Answers - Fisheries Protection.

Was asked: when he was informed of the proposal to ban whitefish fishing in area 6A by the EU Commission; if he has conveyed his opposition or other views to the Commission; and if he will make a statement on t...More Button

This matter refers to a recent proposal by the European Commission which calls for the establishment of a moratorium on fishing certain whitefish species in the area off the northwest coast — technica...More Button

Written Answers - Forestry Sector.

Was asked: the implications for the forestry industry and Coillte Teo as a result of budget 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The allocation of €128 million to the Forestry subhead for 2009 is evidence of the Government’s commitment to maintaining an active and substantial forestry programme. Provision has been made for the...More Button

Written Answers - Official Engagements.

Was asked: the countries he will make visits to during the next six months; the purposes of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Following is the statement:More Button

Written Answers - EU Directives.

Was asked: his views on whether it would be appropriate action to request consideration of Article 18 of Directive 2000/13EC in which national provisions can be justified on grounds of unfair competition in vie...More Button

Ireland’s request to the EU Commission to allow mandatory origin labelling for poultry, pig and sheepmeat was based on the provisions of directive 2000/13/EC. The Commission has however adopted a nega...More Button

Written Answers - Environmental Protection.

Was asked: if he will extend the deadline for the spreading of slurry and farmyard manure in view of the wet weather; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The spreading of slurry and farmyard manure is governed by the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2006 which is a matter for the Minister for the E...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: if he has made a decision on the way the new increased mackerel quota will be divided between various parties that is polyvolent and the pelagic RSW sectors; and the way he came to this decision. More Button

Was asked: if he has decided on the way the share-out of the additional mackerel quota will be equally divided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 126 together. My colleague, Minister Tony Killeen has already received a range of diverse views from industry representatives and operators regarding how any a...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision to cut payments under the suckler cow animal welfare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In the ‘Towards 2016’ Partnership Agreement, a commitment was made to provide funding of €250 million over the five years 2008 to 2012, in support of a suckler scheme. This commitment is being honoure...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: the steps he will take at the Christmas 2008 talks on fisheries in Europe regarding the proposed cut in quotas for prawns. More Button

Was asked: the reason there is a proposed cut in quotas for prawns in view of the acknowledged positive position in stocks; if he will resist this proposal at the December 2008 Council meeting; and if he will m...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 122 together. The EU Commission has proposed a reduction of 15% in the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quotas for Nephrops (Prawns) in waters adjacent to Irela...More Button

Written Answers - Milk Quota.

Was asked: if he has plans to facilitate a more efficient processing of the Irish milk quota; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

One of the major challenges in the medium term will be to ensure that Irish farming and the agri-food sector is at the heart of an evolving high-value food market, which is focused on quality and inno...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: his views on the vote taken at the European Parliament to continue with changes to pesticide legislation which carries an obligatory reduction in pesticide use of 50% within the next ten years and wo...More Button

This proposed legislation is subject to the Co-decision process, involving both the EU Council and the EU Parliament working in parallel. The first reading of the proposed Commission Directive has be...More Button

Written Answers - Poultry Sector.

Was asked: the initiatives he plans to introduce to safeguard employment in the poultry sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The main challenge facing the indigenous Irish poultry industry is competition from imports of fresh poultry from other EU countries. Under single market rules unrestricted volumes can be traded betw...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: the number of applicants who have made commitments by way of land transfer, and so on in order to qualify for the young farmer’s installation aid scheme; the way he proposes to treat them in view of ...More Button

The Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme was suspended for new applications on 14 October 2008. I have already indicated that the scheme’s suspension will be considered at the earliest opportunity havi...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: if he plans to make use of the unused single payment CAP funds for a sheep maintenance payment and instil some confidence in the sheep sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The possibility of support to the sheep sector will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP Health Check. That outcome provides that an additional amount of some €24 million annua...More Button

Written Answers - EU Treaties.

Was asked: the measures he will take in the preparation for a possible referendum on the Lisbon treaty to ensure that a more pro-active stance on behalf of the fishing industry with the relevant EU institutions...More Button

In practical terms, the Reform Treaty will not alter the arrangements that currently apply in the fisheries sector to any great extent, other than applying the principle of co-decision in certain area...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: if he agrees with fishing representatives that the Hague Preferences should be placed on a statutory basis rather than being subject to annual negotiation. More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that the Hague Preferences are enshrined in law and not just discussed annually; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 125 and 129 together. When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, the Community received a very significant additional fishing resource out to the 200 mile limit. At that ti...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: the countries he will make visits to during the next four months; the purposes of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Following is the statement:More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: his position on the proposed modulation cuts to Ireland’s single farm payment at the CAP health check negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the final compromise in the Health Check negotiations, a 5% increase was agreed in the rate of modulation. I would have preferred if no additional modulation were agreed. However, this was one...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Fleet Protection.

Was asked: the position he will be taking in relation to the latest cuts proposed in the quota allocated to Irish fishermen in Irish waters. More Button

The very poor state of many whitefish stocks targeted by the Irish fishing fleet is clearly reflected in the decreases in annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quota allocations that Ireland receives...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Was asked: if he has received communications from the various representative bodies regarding the expected negative impact of budget 2009 cutbacks and their implications for the farming and food producing secto...More Button

I have received a number of representations, directly and indirectly, from various interest groups outlining their views on the impact of the 2009 budget for my Department and requesting that I recons...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Disputes.

Was asked: the terms of an agreement reached in an industrial dispute in his Department which was delaying REP scheme payments; if he will expedite all delayed payments before the end of 2008; and if he will ma...More Button

The terms of the Agreement reached with the IMPACT Union at the Labour Relations Commission provided for the cessation of the industrial action on Friday 21 November, 2008 and provided for further dis...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: his views on whether the process of discards, that is, throwing dead fish into the sea if quota levels are reached is the best form of conservation available; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

The issue of high levels of discards in commercial sea fisheries is a global problem and is on the agenda of all major international organisations who deal with the development of sustainable sea fish...More Button

Written Answers - Domestic Abattoirs.

Was asked: when the grants for the upgrading and expansion of small abattoirs will be awarded to the successful applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The applications received under my Department’s capital investment scheme for the marketing and processing of agricultural products have been going through a competitive evaluation process in which th...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision to cut €10 million from the early retirement scheme and installation aid scheme which have been shut down to new applicants leading to hardship for many farming famili...More Button

I have made provision of €56.7 million in 2009 to meet current commitments under the Early Retirement Scheme from Farming and the Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme. I have no plans at present to reo...More Button

Written Answers - Dairy Sector.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to protect dairy farmers here from being forced out of business in view of the collapse of global prices for dairy commodities; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

In the light of the temporary volatility being experienced in international dairy markets at present and uncertainty in the short-term outlook, I contacted EU Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel seeking...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: the progress that has been made with regard to ensuring foodstuffs of Irish origin cannot be labelled as produced here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Minister for Health and Children has overall responsibility for the general food labelling legislation. Under the general labelling Directive (2000/13/EC), the place of origin of the foodstuff mu...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: if the necessary resources will be made available to carry out the scientific analysis required to guarantee that the Celtic Sea is not included in new control measures in 2009 and beyond; and if he ...More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to the EU Commission proposal that was made this year to include the Celtic Sea cod stock within the terms of the Community’s Cod Recovery Plan. The original plan wa...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: if he has investigated the potential impact on the food and agriculture sector of recent decisions by the EU Commissioner to rearrange and refocus support for the sector; if due regard has been had f...More Button

I presume the Deputy is referring to the proposals from the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Health Check and the recent final negotiations, which I successfully concluded with my...More Button

Written Answers - Fishery Industry Development.

Was asked: his plans for the development of the fishery industry in the forthcoming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A strategic blueprint to develop the fisheries sector into the 21st century is contained in the report of the Seafood Strategy Review Group “Steering a New Course” (The Cawley Report). One of the key ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Schemes.

Was asked: further to parliamentary Question No. 331 of 13 November 2007, if he is in a position to state the number of applications and the amount applied for in grants under the farm improvement grants scheme...More Button

A breakdown on a county-by-county basis of the 12,675 applications received under the Farm Improvement Scheme prior to its suspension on 31 October 2007 was set out in the reply to the Parliamentary Q...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Sector.

Was asked: his plans to introduce a new sheep maintenance payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The possibility of support to the sheep sector will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP Health Check. That outcome provides that an additional amount of some €24 million annua...More Button

Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy.

Was asked: the amount of discretionary funding available to him in 2010 arising from the recent CAP health check; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the way he will distribute the €24 million underspend from the single farm payment fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 147 together. Political agreement was achieved on the Health Check on Thursday 20 November last following long and sometimes difficult negotiations. The overa...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Schemes.

Was asked: if he has plans to reopen applications for grants under the farm improvement scheme during 2009; if not, when he expects to reopen applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Farm Improvement Scheme was introduced by my Department in July 2007 with funding of €79 million as agreed under the 2006 Partnership agreement, Towards 2016, and was suspended on 31 October 2007 ...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Travel.

Was asked: the countries he has visited since his appointment; the purposes of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Following is the statement:More Button

Written Answers - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the main agenda items for the next Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the European Union that are of concern to Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The next meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council is not scheduled to take place until 18/19 December next and no agenda has yet been received. However, we are aware that the agenda will focu...More Button

Written Answers - Food Labelling.

Was asked: the number of infringements of the food safety and food labelling regulations found in 2007 and 2008 in respect of poultry processing plants, meat processing plants, retailers of poultry products, wh...More Button

The number of infringements of food safety and food labelling legislation in plants referred to in the Deputy’s question that come within the remit of my Department are outlined as follows: Total numb...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: the position with regard to the animal welfare Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Work is continuing on drafting the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill, which is intended to give effect to a number of commitments, in the area of animal health and welfare, contained in the Programme...More Button

Written Answers - Afforestation Programme.

Was asked: the percentage targets of total land he expects to achieve in relation to afforestation of land for each of the next ten years in view of the decisions taken in budget 2009; and if he will make a sta...More Button

By the end of 2007 Ireland had over 10% of land area under forest cover. This is someway short of the average EU-member State coverage of 35% and it is my intention to continue to support increased s...More Button

Written Answers - Horticulture Sector.

Was asked: the amount in investment aid that was paid to mushroom growers under the scheme of investment aid for the development of commercial horticulture in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

Under the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector 2008 my Department granted approvals totalling some €2.8m in grant aid to the mushroom sector. This aid wi...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when he proposes to introduce a payment per ewe for the sheep sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The possibility of support to the sheep sector will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP Health Check. That outcome provides that an additional amount of some €24 million annua...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when payments due under REP scheme four will be made to participants. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to different EU Regulations from the preceding versions of REPS. Under REPS 4, all payments are to be made in j...More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has not received their REP scheme payment; and when they can expect to receive their payment. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to different EU Regulations from the preceding versions of REPS. Under REPS 4, all payments are to be made in j...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their disadvantaged area and 50% SPS payments for 2008 in view of the fact that a full ground inspection took place and the herd owner was...More Button

An application under the Single Payment Scheme /Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on the 19th April 2008. This application was selected for a cross compliance and satellite...More Button

Written Answers - Animal Diseases.

Was asked: if he will adopt the same policy with respect to Bluetongue as occurred in Northern Ireland and the UK where imported animals found to be infected with the disease are immediately slaughtered, as the...More Button

The movement of susceptible animals within and from bluetongue restricted areas is subject to EU legislation which is kept under ongoing review and adapted from time to time. As Ireland is free of Blu...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the full extent of savings proposed in Budget 2009 arising from the abolition of the farm retirement scheme; the number of farmers to be affected; if he has quantified the full extent of the negative...More Button

I have made provision of €47 million in 2009 to meet current commitments under the Early Retirement Scheme from Farming. It is not possible to quantify the savings that will arise due to suspension o...More Button

Written Answers - Sheep Sector.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the hardship to sheep farmers arising from budget 2009 cutbacks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware of the difficulties facing the sheep sector and the possibilities of support to it will be considered in the light of the outcome of the recent CAP Health Check. That outcome provides that...More Button

Written Answers - Agriculture Policy.

Was asked: his plan for the future of agriculture with particular reference to ongoing discussions at EU level; if he and his colleagues intend to ensure self sufficiency and security of supply of food througho...More Button

It is essential, in my view, that we maintain a strong agricultural production base in the European Union in the years to come. We must also undertake food production and distribution in a manner tha...More Button

Written Answers - Food Traceability.

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the levels of traceability applied here in respect of imported meat and other food products; if he has identified any exceptions; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

In general, responsibility for enforcement of labelling legislation rests with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) through its service contracts with my Department, the Sea Fisheries Protectio...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: his proposals for the reintroduction of the farm retirement scheme without penalty or loss to either party; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have made provision of €47 million in 2009 to meet current commitments under the Early Retirement Scheme from Farming but, for the present, it has been necessary to suspend new applications for this...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Waste Management.

Was asked: his proposals to incentivise farm waste management and prevent pollution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An allocation of €125 million has been provided in the 2009 Estimates in order to provide grant-aid to farmers who are currently carrying out work under the Farm Waste Management Scheme. This is in a...More Button

Written Answers - Agriculture Policy.

Was asked: if he has received representations from farmers representatives requesting a reversal of the budget 2009 cuts; if he expects to respond as requested; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have received a number of representations, directly and indirectly, from various interest groups requesting that I reconsider the 2009 Budget decisions. The situation is that the 2009 Budget was fr...More Button

Written Answers - Agricultural Exports.

Was asked: if Irish agricultural exports are sufficiently competitive on world markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Agricultural production in Ireland and the EU must be viewed in the context of a reformed and evolving Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is placing much more emphasis on market orientation and c...More Button

Written Answers - Agriculture Policy.

Was asked: if he has proposals to encourage young farmers into agriculture and food production; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are a significant number of measures in place to encourage the early transfer of farms and the entry of young farmers into the sector. These include: 100% stamp duty relief on transfers of agri...More Button

Written Answers - Fishing Industry Development.

Was asked: his plan to protect, support and promote the fishing industry with particular reference to the needs of fishing dependant families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A strategic blueprint to develop the fisheries sector into the 21ST century is contained in the report of the Seafood Strategy Review Group “Steering a New Course” (The Cawley Report). One of the key ...More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when payment will be made available to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry for REP scheme four; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to different EU Regulations from the preceding versions of REPS. Under REPS 4, all payments are to be made in j...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when payment will be made available to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry, following their application for a farm waste management grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named is an applicant under the Farm Waste Management Scheme. Payment will be made by my Department to the person concerned shortly.More Button

Written Answers - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will be granted their REP scheme four; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the current Rural Development Programme 2007–13 and is subject to different EU Regulations from the preceding versions of REPS. Under REPS 4, all payments are to be made in j...More Button

Written Answers - Grant Payments.

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will be granted their farm grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named is an applicant under the Farm Improvement Scheme. Payment will be made by my Department to the person concerned shortly.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow did not receive an entitlement from the national reserve; and if this will be reassessed. More Button

The person named applied under Category C of the 2007 National Reserve which caters for farmers for whom at least 40% of their Single Payment was derived from direct payments associated with sheep pro...More Button

Written Answers - Farm Retirement Scheme.

Was asked: the situation with respect to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if their case will be looked at in a sympathetic manner. More Button

I have made provision of €47 million in 2009 to meet current commitments under the Early Retirement Scheme from Farming but, for the present, it has been necessary to suspend new applications for this...More Button


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