Thursday, 1 April 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
183. Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the position regarding payments for REP scheme four on a county basis; his views on whether in the present difficult banking and farming income situation that these payments are vital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14341/10]
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Brendan Smith): Out of 28,842 farmers due payments in REPS 4, payments have issued to over 21,000 as of today. Because of industrial action by officials in my Department, I am not in a position to provide a breakdown of these figures by county.
To meet the requirements of EU regulations, applications for REPS payments have to go through an exhaustive series of administrative checks before payment can be released. In a significant number of cases, those checks raised issues and queries which required further detailed examination. The Department’s staff are working to resolve these as quickly as possible. Many of these cases require the applicants’ planners to amend the farm plans that were submitted originally. The applicants concerned have been made aware of the position and the applications will be further processed without delay on receipt of amended plans.
In a small number of local offices, the processing of payments has been delayed by staffing issues arising from the moratorium on recruitment and promotions in the public service and the Department is attempting to resolve these difficulties.
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