Written Answers - Grant Payments

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 740 No. 1

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  770.  Deputy Nicky McFadden  Information on Nicky McFadden  Zoom on Nicky McFadden   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when the 1,000 REP four scheme farmers, who have not yet received their payment of 2010, will expect to be paid; when the 2,000 REP four scheme farmers who are awaiting a final 25% will be paid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23524/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  REPS 4 is a measure under the Rural Development Programme, 2007-13, and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before payments can issue. These administrative checks have been completed and of the 30,300 farmers due a payment in respect of 2010, approximately 750 applicants are currently awaiting their initial 75% payment for the year. This is due to queries which have arisen during these administrative checks. Outstanding queries are being rectified on an ongoing basis, including through correspondence with applicants, and payments issue as soon as the queries are resolved. My Department is also currently making arrangements to process the outstanding 25% payment to farmers in instances where penalties have been imposed. I now expect that these outstanding payments [446]will commence in October to approximately 2,000 farmers with penalties. Arrangements are also well advanced to issue payments in respect of 2011 and I expect that these payments will commence in November.

  771.  Deputy John O’Mahony  Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive payment under the agri-environment options scheme; when will record sheets requested by the person be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23549/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named has been approved into the AEOS Scheme with effect from 1st November 2010.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Agri-Environment Options Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed on all applications before any approvals can issue. All applications were processed as quickly as possible and due to the complex nature of the checks relating to applications involving SAC areas, these applications were approved with effect from 1 November 2010. The person named has a contract period of 5 years and two months. In addition, as part of the checks required under EU regulations, the person named was randomly selected for inspection. As part of this process Record Sheets documenting details of actions undertaken under AEOS must be inspected and authorised by the Department’s inspector. The record sheets were posted to the person named on 12th September 2011 and once completed and returned to the inspector, the claim will be processed further without delay.

  772.  Deputy Brendan Griffin  Information on Brendan Griffin  Zoom on Brendan Griffin   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   the position regarding an appeal for REP scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23569/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named commenced REPS 3 in December 2006 and has received payment in respect years 1 to 4. Following an inspection on 3rd December 2010, the person named was notified that penalties totalling 105% of the 5th year payment were to be imposed. An appeal dated 23rd March 2011 was received by my Department. Following a review of the case, the person named was informed by letter on 24th May 2011 that the appeal was not successful. The person named subsequently appealed this decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office on 22nd August 2011. All documentation relating to the file of the person named has been forwarded to the Agriculture Appeals Office who will conduct an independent review of the case.

  773.  Deputy Patrick O’Donovan  Information on Patrick O'Donovan  Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   the reason for the delay of payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; when payment will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23582/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The payments in question are due to the estate of the late mother of the person named.

Following communication with the Inheritance Enquiry Unit of my Department in July 2010, the person named, who, it is understood, is not the executor of his late mother’s will, was requested to supply either a Grant of Representation or alternatively the name of a Solicitor who would undertake the responsibility for receiving and distributing the payments according to the will of the deceased person.

[447]To date the person named has not made available the requested information and consequently it has not been possible to release the outstanding monies. When such information becomes available it should be directed to:

Inheritance Enquiry Unit

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Eircom Building

Knockmay Road

Portlaoise

Co. Laois

Tel: 1890 200 560.

  774.  Deputy John O’Mahony  Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their 2010 single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23595/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The appeal submitted by the person name has not been fully processed by my Department. As a result of the outcome of the appeal, payment in respect of the 2010 Single Payment Scheme will issue to the applicant shortly.

  775.  Deputy Tom Fleming  Information on Tom Fleming  Zoom on Tom Fleming   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if he will examine the single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry with a view to expediting payment in view of the fact that there is a delay in processing this application. [23776/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  An application under the 2010 Single Payment Scheme/Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 6 May 2010. The 50% advance of the Single Farm Payment issued to the person named on 18 October 2010 and the balancing Single Farm Payment issued on 1 December 2010 which were the earliest possible payment dates permissible under the Single Payment Scheme.

  776.  Deputy Brendan Griffin  Information on Brendan Griffin  Zoom on Brendan Griffin   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if a decision has been made on the applications for agri-environment options scheme, single payment scheme for national reserve in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23779/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  My Department received an application under the Agri-Environment Protection Scheme from the person named on 11th May 2011. All applications received are currently being checked and successful applicants will be notified in writing of approvals before the end of this month. Unsuccessful applicants will similarly be notified and will be offered the opportunity to appeal any decision.

The person named submitted an application for category B of the 2011 National Reserve. This category caters for new entrants to farming after 15th May 2009. A new entrant is defined as a farmer who did not pursue any agricultural activity in his/her own name or at his/her own risk in the five years immediately preceding the commencement of the new agricultural activity. The person named did not qualify under the new entrant category of the 2011 National Reserve as he did not commence farming since 15th May 2009. The person named has been notified in writing of this decision and has been given an opportunity to appeal.

[448]

  777.  Deputy Michael Creed  Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive payment under the agri-environment options scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23786/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2010. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks have now been completed. This application is now ready to proceed to the prepayment validation stage and once successfully completed payment will issue.

  778.  Deputy Brendan Griffin  Information on Brendan Griffin  Zoom on Brendan Griffin   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when the new computer system for REP scheme payments will be in operation; when the final 25% of REP scheme payments will be paid to farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23801/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  REPS 4 is a measure under the Rural Development Programme, 2007-13, and is subject to EU Regulations which require that detailed administrative checks on all applications are completed before payments can issue.

These administrative checks in respect of 2010 claims have been completed and of the 30,300 farmers who are due payment, approximately 750 applicants are currently awaiting their initial 75% payment for the year. This is due to queries which have arisen during the administrative checks. Outstanding queries are being rectified on an ongoing basis, including through correspondence with the applicants, and payments issue as soon as the queries are resolved. My Department is also currently making arrangements to process the outstanding 25% payment in respect of 2010 to farmers in instances where penalties have been imposed. I now expect that these outstanding payments will commence in October to approximately 2,000 farmers with penalties.

Arrangements are also well advanced to issue payments in respect of 2011 and I expect that these payments will commence in November.

  779.  Deputy Dara Calleary  Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if he has made a decision on an application for funding (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23809/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  An application for payment under the NeighbourWood Scheme has been received in my Department and is currently being examined. Such scheme applications are detailed and require close scrutiny. As soon as this examination is complete, and if deemed suitable, my Department will arrange for payment to the applicants.

  780.  Deputy Heather Humphreys  Information on Heather Humphreys  Zoom on Heather Humphreys   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan will receive their agri-environment options scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23884/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1st September 2010.

[449]Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. During these checks it was established that some of the areas on the AEOS application do not match the SPS application.

A letter has issued to the person named outlining the situation. The application will be processed further upon receipt of a response to this query.

  781.  Deputy Tom Hayes  Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when the outstanding payment on a REP scheme application will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23955/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named commenced REPS 4 in 2008 and received full payment for the first two years of his contract. In addition, the initial 75% payment of the third year payment issued on 21st March 2011. Following the receipt of an adjusted agri-environmental plan from the person named, a penalty was imposed due to a discrepancy in the area claimed which has resulted in a delay in processing the final 25% payment due.

My Department is currently making arrangements to process outstanding payments to farmers of the 25% due in respect of 2010 in the cases where penalties were incurred and I expect payments to commence in these cases in October.

  782.  Deputy Tom Hayes  Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   when the outstanding payment on a REP scheme application will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23956/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named commenced REPS 4 in 2008 and received full payments for the first two years of his contract. In addition, 75% of the third year payment issued on 21st March 2011. Following the receipt of an adjusted agri-environmental plan from the person named, a penalty was imposed due to a discrepancy in the area being drawn down which resulted in the delay in processing of the 25% payment due. My Department is currently making arrangements to process outstanding payments to farmers of the 25% due in respect of 2010 in the cases where penalties were incurred and I expect payments to commence in these cases in October.

  783.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if he will indicate the extent of headage, disadvantaged area, single farm payments, suckler cow premium or other payments made in respect of lands at a location (details supplied) in County Cork; if such payments reflect the ownership of the cattle occupying the lands thereat; if animals on the lands were held under various herd numbers or the herd number of the previous owner now deceased; if a multiplicity of animals with different herd numbers have occupied the lands since 1989 and the dates of same; if clarification has been sought as to whether the animals originated locally, in adjoining areas or in other counties; if animals from multiple herds occupied the lands at the same time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23983/11]

  784.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   the extent to which he approved of or was aware of the disposal of entitlements and or payments arising therefrom and to whom; whether disadvantaged area, single farm payments and or suckler cow premium payments in respect of lands or animals occupying the lands at a location (details supplied) in County Cork since 1989; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23984/11]

[450]Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  I propose to take Questions Nos. 783 and 784 together.

The position with regard to this case is as outlined in reply to a question from the Deputy on 20 July 2011, which is as follows.

My reply of 14 July, 2011 sets out the procedures that are followed in relation to changes to a herd number. On 9 December 2009 a copy of the death certificate of the person in whose name the herd number was registered was received by my Department. In accordance with standard procedures in such circumstances, the herd owner was then registered under personal representatives of the deceased person. An application was received on 4 January 2010 from the personal representatives of the deceased person to register details of the herd number in the name of the son of the deceased person. The application was accompanied by a copy of Probate of the Will of the deceased person, indicating that the son was the executor and sole beneficiary of the Estate. Following an on-farm inspection on 27 January 2010, it was decided that no change in registration of the herd number should take place pending clarification of the issue of ownership of the land and or cattle thereon. In the meantime, the herd keeper role, which assigns responsibility for the care and maintenance of the cattle to a nominated person, was assigned to the son of the deceased person in whose name the request for transfer of the herd number had been received. An on-farm inspection was carried out by the DVO on 27 January 2010 and all of the cattle present on the holding were inspected and found to be in order. As outlined in my earlier reply, a nominated keeper may or may not be the legal owner of the animals held under a herd number or the holding where the animals are held.

With regard to entitlements to certain farm payments, under EU Regulations governing the Single Payment scheme, entitlements are not attached to land and do not transfer automatically with land. Entitlements form an independent asset that is owned by a specified person and, upon the death of that person, is governed by normal testamentary procedure. In accordance with the will of the deceased person, the son was the executor and sole beneficiary of the Estate. Therefore he became the beneficiary of these entitlements which he subsequently sold to third parties from 2008.

With regard to Suckler cow and Disadvantaged Area payments, any payments due under these schemes issued into the bank account of the deceased person and hence the normal testamentary procedure regarding execution of the will and her estate would have applied to those payments.

On 5 May 2011 an application for registration as a herd owner was received from the daughter of the deceased person. Evidence of ownership of land accompanied this application. This application is currently under consideration and it is anticipated that a decision will be made in regard to that application in the near future.

The late owner of the registered herd-number referred to, made a Will, and a Grant of Probate was extracted in due course by the nominated executor. It is a fundamental principle of the Single Payment Scheme that Single Payment entitlements are not attached to land, otherwise specified in the will and do not transfer automatically with land. Entitlements form an independent asset that is owned by the person for whom they were established and, upon the death of that person, is governed by normal testamentary procedures. My Department is satisfied that the entitlements in question were transferred in accordance with the Will of the deceased and were subsequently sold to third parties from 2008.

  785.  Deputy Pat Breen  Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if he will report on the status of an application for agri-environment options scheme (details supplied) [451]in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24130/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1st November 2010.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks have now been completed. This application is now ready to proceed to the prepayment validation stage and once successfully completed payment will issue.

  786.  Deputy Denis Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   the reason for the delay in making the final instalment for 2010 under a rural environmental protection scheme claim in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24161/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named commenced REPS 4 in 2008 and has received full payments for the first two years of his contract. In addition, 75% of their third year payment issued on 31st December 2010. An area based discrepancy was discovered following a cross-check between the Single Payment Scheme application for 2010 from the person named and the REPS agri-environmental plan. This over-claim has resulted in the imposition of a penalty and a delay in processing the final 25% payment due under REPS 4 for 2010. My Department is currently making arrangements to process outstanding payments to farmers of the 25% due in respect of 2010 in the cases where penalties were incurred and I expect payments to commence in these cases in October.

  787.  Deputy Heather Humphreys  Information on Heather Humphreys  Zoom on Heather Humphreys   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if his attention has been drawn to the fact that farmers who are awaiting the outstanding 25% on their REP scheme payments are not expected to receive payment until October due to problems with a new computer system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24167/11]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  REPS 4 is a measure under the Rural Development Programme, 2007-13, and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before payments can issue.

These administrative checks have been completed and of the 30,300 farmers due a payment in respect of 2010, approximately 750 applicants are currently awaiting their initial 75% payment for the year. This is due to queries which have arisen during these administrative checks. Outstanding queries are being rectified on an ongoing basis, including through correspondence with applicants, and payments issue as soon as the queries are resolved. My Department is also currently making arrangements to process the outstanding 25% payment to farmers in instances where penalties have been imposed. I now expect that these outstanding payments will commence in October to approximately 2,000 farmers with penalties. Arrangements are also well advanced to issue payments in respect of 2011 and I expect that these payments will commence in November.


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