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Coveney, Simon

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Dairy Sector

Was asked: the advantage to milk producers of the milk quality assurance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The development of a dairy sustainability and quality programme comes against the background of ambitious plans under the Food Harvest 2020 report to increase dairy production by 50% in the period ...More Button

We are taking a series of steps on a number of levels to prepare for this. State agencies, the Department and companies are working together to restore new markets in areas such as Asia, the Mid...More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed the Irish Farmers' Association/dairy industry proposals for a tax relieved loan scheme to help the development of the dairy industry here with the Department of Finance; and if ...More Button

I have discussed the proposal for a tax relieved loan scheme with the Irish Farmers Association and other interests. The proposal was also discussed by my officials with the Department of Finance,...More Button

Dairy Sector (Continued)

We want to provide similar sustainability claims for dairy production in Ireland. Bord Bia is working with all the interested parties and farming organisations to ensure we get buy in from farmer...More Button

The best way farmers can insulate themselves from the price volatility that will happen in the future is to ensure Irish product get differentiated from other product. Let us not forget that more ...More Button

Agriculture Schemes Expenditure

Was asked: his views on the impact of budgetary cuts on farm programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As this is a fairly broad question, I will address the issues that might be most pertinent. There has been some criticism since the announcement of the budget that we have targeted certain schemes...More Button

For the past five years we have had a suckler cow welfare scheme which has been a popular and extremely good scheme. It has significantly improved the welfare standards within the suckler herd ...More Button

It is important to say in terms of the beef sector, because it is misunderstood, that next year we will spend almost as much on the beef sector as we spent this year. This year we will spend €25...More Button

There is a genuine concern about ensuring that farmers on relatively small farms in very disadvantaged areas are provided with enough support to keep them on the land. That is the reason, in terms...More Button

Agriculture Schemes Expenditure (Continued)

The average size of a suckler herd is 16 cows while the average size of a suckler herd in the suckler cow welfare scheme is 18 cows. We are trying to prioritise smaller farmers. If we have moneys...More Button

This was the third year of the three-year sheep grasslands scheme. We have decided to continue with the scheme, which will be paid for by unspent moneys under pillar 1. While we have reduced th...More Button

Harbours and Piers Funding

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 521 and 522 of 4 December 2012, when a decision will be made in relation the potential inclusion of Dunmore East Harbour, County Waterford, under the 2013 Fi...More Button

My Department administers the fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure capital development programme every year. Dunmore East fishery harbour centre is one of the six designated fishery harbour ...More Button

The reality is that nothing can be done if one does not have the money. We have taken on consultants to examine the options-----More Button

The Deputy is asking for more than half of my total harbours fund. I simply do not have it. If I had the money, I would be spending it on this. This is one of the harbours that has priority when...More Button

Fish landings at Dunmore East are actually increasing every year. Quotas are significantly up this year and it is my job to negotiate another good deal on the quotas next week. The stocks of co...More Button

I agree there is a significant problem in the harbour and it needs to be dredged. I will do it when I can afford to. In the meantime, we will have to put a plan in place to do what we can do.More Button

Common Fisheries Policy Negotiations

Was asked: the position regarding the common fisheries policy review; the possible implications for Irish fishermen; when he expects this to be concluded; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Sole is one of the species whose stock is under pressure in the Irish Sea.More Button

I am hoping to get the best deal I can for fishermen next week in a whole series of areas, particularly with regard to prawns in the Irish Sea and area VII generally. As part of that, fantastic wo...More Button

I hope he enjoyed it because it might be the last one he gets.More Button

Deputy Browne has been in this ministry before and will know the preparation required for the negotiations on total allowable catches, TACs, and fishing quotas. These preparations have been comple...More Button

There has been much talk about getting the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy done during the Irish EU Presidency. I am equally focused on the Common Fisheries Policy. We want to get a d...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date on fishery discussions at EU level for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The annual fishing opportunities for the Community’s fishing fleets are traditionally agreed at the December Fisheries Council. This year, the arrangements for 2013 are due to be negotiated at the ...More Button

Was asked: the progress made to date on the renegotiation of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the European Union which was first put in place in 1983 and has been subject to reviews every 10 years. The current CFP is under review ...More Button

My overarching goal for the new CFP is for a sustainable, profitable and self reliant industry that protects and enhances the social and economic fabric of rural coastal communities dependent on ...More Button

Ireland's priorities include maintaining the Hague preferences, long term management of stocks, reducing and eliminating discards where possible, rebuilding stocks to Maximum Sustainable Yield an...More Button

The new CFP will be agreed between the European Parliament and the EU Fisheries Council under the ordinary legislative process (co-decision).More Button

The Council of Fisheries Ministers under the Danish Presidency reached a partial general approach on the Basic CFP Regulation and the Common Organisation of the Markets (CMO) at the June Fisherie...More Button

The European Parliament has completed its first reading of the CMO proposal and is currently conducting its first reading of the basic CFP Regulation and the EMFF proposal. It is expected that t...More Button

As it is now clear that adoption by 31 December 2012 will not happen, it is my intention to actively endeavour to reach agreement on the Reform package during the Irish presidency in the first ha...More Button

One issue which has arisen with regard to progressing the reform is an inter-institutional one, and refers to the interpretation of Article 43 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Uni...More Button

The Council has sole remit to set the annual TAC/Quota regulation under article 43.3, however Multi-annual plans which are a cornerstone of the CFP reform fit within the broad parameters of being...More Button

I will prioritise securing final agreement between the EU Fisheries Council and the EU Parliament on the CFP during the Irish Presidency during the first half of 2013.More Button

Was asked: his views on what he must achieve in terms of TACs and quotas at the December EU Fisheries Council on 18 to 20 December; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The levels of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and ultimately the quotas for Ireland in 2013 will be determined at the December Council of Fisheries Ministers being held on December 18 and 19 in Brussel...More Button

The European Commission proposals for 2013 are based on formal advice received from ICES (the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas), and also on the views of the STECF (the Scien...More Button

I have had an assessment of the impacts of the Commission proposal on internal TACs through the preparation of a Sea Fisheries Sustainability Impact Assessment which is provided for in the Progra...More Button

I have repeated many times my belief that decisions on setting TACS should be informed by the science available and I stick to that. I am opposed to blanket rules on so called “data poor” stocks ...More Button

Common Fisheries Policy Negotiations (Continued)

At the moment in many of our fisheries up to 40% or 50% of the fish caught are being dumped over the side, dead. They are either juvenile fish or in some cases adult fish. We need and we will fin...More Button

We are moving towards what is termed maximum sustainable yield in how we determine quotas each year. The idea is that there is a set formula now based on data collection and linked to total allo...More Button

The other issue relates to regionalisation of decision making. This is something we are supportive of because we are keen to see countries fishing in Irish waters making decisions on the managem...More Button

The challenge is to find common ground with the European Parliament. I will spend a good deal of time in Brussels talking to people in the European Parliament about how to ensure that the Counci...More Button

We worked hard during the Danish EU Council Presidency, which was before the current Cypriot Presidency, to get a Common Position on discards by the end of the Presidency, which was the end of June...More Button

It will be possible to do this before June but it will be challenging because there are deep divisions on some of these issues between member states, some of which are driven by the sustainabilit...More Button

Land Reclassification

Was asked: his plans for Castlerea Town Trust, Cow Park Trust, County Roscommon; his position regarding appointing new trustees to such a trust; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased that the Deputy has asked this question because we discussed it some weeks ago. I am pleased that I have managed to bring the issue forward since that discussion. I wish to make clea...More Button

Public trusts vest the trust land in the trustees and provide that day-to-day operational matters relating to the public trust are dealt with by the trustees, appointed from time to time. As Min...More Button

Castlerea Public Trust was originally created as a cow park trust, where local landless people could graze a cow. With the passage of time as Castlerea town has developed, part of the trust land...More Button

As Minister, I am solely empowered to appoint trustees to these Land Act trusts. The existing trustees notify my Department when any appointments are necessary and they also nominate names of pe...More Button

If the Deputy prefers I will get to the meat of it.More Button

I have only half a page left.More Button

The minimum number of trustees in this trust is five and the maximum number is 12. It is important that the replacement trustees are nominated by and acceptable to existing trustees to ensure the ...More Button

In the case of Castlerea Public Trust, new trustee nominations were recently submitted to me. I have not as yet appointed these nominated parties because I believe it is necessary for the existi...More Button

It is my policy generally with Land Act trusts that where agreement can be reached locally, ownership of the trust lands should be transferred to a community company or a co-operative representat...More Button

Land Reclassification (Continued)

I am not sure everybody will get what they want but we are moving towards resolving the matter.More Button

That is what is happening. I turned around a situation about which the Deputy was very unhappy.More Button

We have created time and space to try to find a solution.More Button

Single Payment Scheme Payments

Was asked: if he would favour a limit on the amount of money being paid to any one farmer under the single farm payment of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020; the ceiling he thinks would be appropriate;...More Button

This question is in the name of Deputy Kitt, although I suspect it comes from Deputy Ó Cuív. It relates to whether we should be setting ceilings on future single farm payments. Before considering...More Button

Ireland is in a different situation. I need to ensure the flexibility countries are given in relation to the capping issue suits Ireland. Once a final deal is done and, if we have the capacity ...More Button

Two sets of negotiations are ongoing. The first concerns negotiations on the overall budget, the multi-annual financial framework, MFF, as referred to by the Deputy. We failed collectively last m...More Button

Ireland has been trying to prevent a significant reduction in the overall MFF funding. If there are to be cuts, we will seek to protect the CAP budget within that. Some 85% of all EU money comi...More Button

We hope to conclude the MFF discussions during the Irish Presidency of the European Council at a Heads of State meeting to be held on 7 February. It is likely to be the next big summit meeting on ...More Button

This issue is the subject of Question No. 9, at which point I will respond to those questions.More Button

Was asked: the reason he imposed a cut of 22% on the sheep grassland payment which is having a negative impact on low income sheep farmers, many farming in marginal land areas; and if he will make a statement...More Button

The Grassland Sheep Scheme is one of the measures funded by unused Single Farm Payment funds. Under the governing EU Regulations, the payment of aid under these measures cannot commence prior to 1 ...More Button

This Scheme, as originally implemented, was to run for three years: 2010, 2011 and 2012, with an annual budget of €18 million. I am, however, pleased to confirm that, notwithstanding continued ad...More Button

Notwithstanding the financial adjustment made to the overall funding to the Grassland Sheep Scheme, hill sheep farmers, who join a Sheep Discussion Group will find that the aid they will receive ...More Button

Was asked: the rates at which the modulation reduction is being deducted from single payments this year; the purpose of this reduction; the use to which this money is put; the way this money will be taken int...More Button

The Single Payment Scheme was implemented in Ireland in 2005 under the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 1872/2003. Article 10 of the Council Regulation provided for the application of a mod...More Button

Under the original SPS provisions, the modulation deduction was applied to all payments and was subsequently refunded on the first €5,000 in each payment or up to the amount paid if it was less t...More Button

Most of the amounts not paid arising from the modulation deduction (90% in 2011) are made available to Ireland for funding Rural Development (Pillar 11) measures. The Commission’s proposals for f...More Button

Sugar Industry

Was asked: the progress made to date with discussions in relation to the re-establishment of a sugar industry here including the growing of sugar beet for sugar production; the steps he has taken to promote t...More Button

Sugar Industry (Continued)

I can understand my colleague's frustration, as somebody who comes from a town where the sugar industry provided huge employment and significant opportunities for arable farmers in particular, that...More Button

First of all, I have made it clear that the Government is not going to subsidise the setting up of a new sugar industry because we need to ensure that any new industry that begins in Ireland agai...More Button

The current sugar regime in the EU will end in 2015 and Ireland has already been compensated to get out of that regime to the tune of €353 million. That means that we are not going to be able to...More Button

Two studies have been carried out.More Button

Yes.More Button

The feasibility studies were very professionally done. Both of them were presented to me and both of them involved detailed meetings around the presentation of those feasibility studies. We then ...More Button

Coillte Teoranta Lands

Was asked: the position regarding the proposed sale of the Coillte forest crop; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy's question concerns the current position with regard to Coillte. Deputies will know that the Government made a decision in principle to move ahead with preparing for and investigating t...More Button

Coillte Teoranta Lands (Continued)

The Government decision was straightforward. We are not selling the company or the land. The principal decision was to investigate and, if it makes sense to do so, proceed with the sale of harves...More Button

As I noted earlier, if we proceed with the sales process, we intend to protect the State assets, in other words, the common good element of State-owned forests in terms of the land on which they si...More Button

Agriculture Industry Age Profile

Was asked: the steps he has taken to address the age profile imbalance in the farming industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Many people find it extraordinary that more farmers are over the age of 80 than under the age of 35. That is no basis for the kind of ambition we share for growth and innovation in the sector. Th...More Button

Large numbers of young people are enrolled in agricultural colleges. Over the past six years, the number has increased from 600 to 1,450 per year. There has been a dramatic increase in the number...More Button

In terms of national policy, despite all the difficult decisions taken in the budget, we acted strategically to support young farmers by encouraging the consolidation of farms, and maintaining th...More Button

Agriculture Industry Age Profile (Continued)

I agree with the Deputy that agricultural colleges, universities and institutes of technology that offer strong food and agricultural courses are hugely important. We do not have plans to build ne...More Button

All of the agricultural colleges have dorm facilities. Therefore, having to attend an agricultural college in another part of the country is not a disaster. I went to Gurteen agricultural college...More Button

Grassland Sheep Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of farmers who successfully applied for the sheep grassland scheme in 2012, broken down by county; the total anticipated savings in the Budget 2013 changes; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I mentioned this issue earlier in connection with a matter raised by Deputy Martin Ferris. I would like to explain the decisions taken in last week's budget on the sheep grassland scheme. We had ...More Button

I now want to try what I know has worked in other sectors, particularly in the dairy sector, in which we have seen the benefit of discussion groups. In the dairy sector dairy farmers meet on a m...More Button

It is not.More Button

It is going from €18 million to €17 million, when we include the €3 million being transferred for the sheep discussion groupsMore Button

The scheme has been a success on a number of levels. We had seen sheep numbers reduce year on year and were getting to a stage where the perception was developing that a farmer could not make mone...More Button

Although farmers have seen this move as a cut to the sheep grassland scheme, they should instead look at it in the round and realise that while there is a slight reduction in financial support fo...More Button

Is the Deputy trying to get in early?More Button

None of that comes under the scheme we are discussing.More Button

If the Acting Chairman allows, I will be happy to answer the question. There are only the four of us in the Chamber. The media have probably long since gone to bed.More Button

This is a serious issue. I hope I have answered the questions on sheep farming. I answered questions on the beef sector for Deputy Martin Ferris, but I will respond to Deputy Mick Wallace. I am ...More Button

Grassland Sheep Scheme Application Numbers (Continued)

The other aspect is that the new scheme does not requires farmers to do anything other than transfer data relating to the breeding and fertility of their animals to the ICBF. We are not asking t...More Button

The point is that they are being asked to do a fraction of what they were previously asked to do. I agree that this was a great scheme. It improved the quality of suckler beef in Ireland and brou...More Button

I will conclude by responding to the point made by Deputy Kirk. Half of the beef in Ireland comes from the suckler herd and the other half comes from the dairy herd. As I have said on many occasi...More Button

I assure the Deputy that would have been my preference as well.More Button

Agriculture Schemes Data

Was asked: if he will provide a county breakdown of the number of satellite inspections and on-farm inspections undertaken by his Department across all the direct payment schemes covering land eligibility, cr...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a full breakdown of all the penalties across all the different direct payment scheme of single farm payment, disadvantaged area scheme, REP scheme, agri environment options schem...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 15 together. 

  Given the very comprehensive and detailed nature of the information requested across a broad range of schemes, I am a...More Button

Suckler Welfare Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of farmers who had applied under the suckler cow welfare scheme in 2012, broken down by county; the number of successful applicants broken down by county; the reason he abolished the sch...More Button

In the first instance I would like to set the record straight in that no decision was made to abolish the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, which, in fact, is due to end on 31 December 2012. This Scheme ...More Button

- Enhance welfare standards for animals produced from the suckler cow herd.More Button

- Improve husbandry standards at weaning time leading to reduced illness and mortality and enhanced health of the National herd.More Button

- Provide education and knowledge building among farmers on best practice in suckler herd health and welfare.More Button

- Improve the genetic quality of the national suckler herd.More Button

- Improve the competitiveness of the Irish beef industry and the quality of the beef produced.More Button

A Value for Money Audit, which was undertaken in accordance with the Department of Finance Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative, established that the Scheme has largely achieved these obj...More Button

In addition, I have allocated €10 million in 2013, financed from unspent Single Farm Payment Funds for a new support programme for suckler beef farmers to participate in a new Beef Data Programme...More Button

In total, I have made provision for the payment of aid amounting to €25 million to the beef sector in 2013. I announced the establishment of a Beef Technology Adoption Programme in 2012, which wi...More Button

In relation to the information sought by the Deputy, I would like to clarify that farmers, who are participating in the Suckler Cow Welfare, are not required to submit an application under the Sc...More Button

Ash Dieback Threat

Was asked: the discussions he has had with his Northern Ireland counterpart and EU colleagues in relation to combatting the ash dieback disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I recently met with the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O'Neill MLA, at a joint North South Ministerial Council where we shared information on actions taken in both jurisdi...More Button

Was asked: the biosecurity measures being taken to address the ongoing ash tree crisis and to prevent its spreading here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department yesterday announced a significant stepping up of its eradication measures based on the results of its ongoing Chalara survey. The interim results from the major winter survey curren...More Button

In relation to measures already taken by the Department I can report that legal measures to prohibit the importation into Ireland of plant material from ash dieback infected areas were put in pla...More Button

Information about the disease is available on the Department’s website, including contact information for anyone who believes they may have ash with the disease. A poster about the disease has b...More Button

Was asked: his response to the outbreak of the ash dieback disease here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department yesterday announced a significant stepping up of its eradication measures based on the results of its ongoing Chalara survey. The interim results from the major winter survey current...More Button

To address the threat to our ash woodlands, there will be a major eradication programme on sites where there are ash trees from confirmed positive imported consignments. My Department will superv...More Button

In relation to measures already taken by my Department, I can report that legal measures to prohibit the importation into Ireland of plant material from ash dieback infected areas were put in place...More Button

Information about the disease is available on the Department’s website, including contact information for anyone who believes they may have ash with the disease. A poster about the disease has b...More Button

Calafoirt agus Céanna

Cuireann an Clár Forbartha Caipitil Infreastruchtúir Cósta agus Chuanta Iascaigh, a ndéanann mo Roinnse riaradh air ar bhonn bliantúil, maoiniú ar fáil d’oibreacha caipitil ag sé Ionad Cuain Iascai...More Button

Tá dul chun cinn déanta le blianta beaga anuas ar chlár céimithe d’fhorbairt infreastruchtúir ag Ionad Chuan Iascaigh Ros an Mhíl faoinar déanadh infheistíocht shuntasach (suas le €14 milliún) sa...More Button

  Question No. 15 answered with Question No. 11.More Button

Tax and Social Welfare Codes

Was asked: the discussions he has had in relation to the decision to abolish stamp duty on land transfers for young farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the deputy that there was no decision to abolish the relief on stamp duty on land transfers for young farmers. This important relief was due to end this year but is once aga...More Button

In recent years we have seen a large increase in the number of young people entering agricultural training courses and we need to encourage the early transfer of land to this generation of skille...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Expenditure

Was asked: if he will explain the 0.9% linear reduction to the single farm payment imposed in 2012; the number of farmers this will affect; the total amount of the reduction and where these funds go; and if h...More Button

The Single Farm Payment is one of the most important payments received by farmers each year. The amount of funding available for payment to Irish farmers under the 2011 and 2012 Schemes was €1.263 ...More Button

Given the level of the funding involved annually and the importance of the monies paid to farmers’ income, it is absolutely vital that all of the funding available from the EU is fully drawn down...More Button

Essentially, the linear reductions to payments under both the 2011 and 2012 Single Payment Schemes are necessary in order to ensure that the National Ceilings for the Scheme for the years in ques...More Button

However, in pursuing this objective, the budget for the 2011 Scheme was marginally exceeded and the projections for the budget for the 2012 Scheme are similar. In light of this, the only prudent ...More Button

There are technical issues involved in relation to the overshoot of the National Ceiling, in that under the EU Commission requirements it is necessary payments under earlier SPS schemes must be a...More Button

Turning to payments in respect of the 2012 SPS Scheme, I am delighted with the level of payments that have been made by my Department since balancing payments commenced less than two weeks ago. I...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the 2012 linear reduction and 2011 linear reduction on payments of the 2012 single payment; the rate at which this deduction is being deducted; if it is being deducted from all appli...More Button

The Single Farm Payment is one of the most important payments received by farmers each year. The amount of funding available for payment to Irish farmers under the 2011 and 2012 Schemes was €1.263 ...More Button

Given the level of the funding involved annually and the importance of the monies paid to farmers’ income, it is absolutely vital that all of the funding available from the EU is fully drawn down...More Button

Essentially, the linear reductions to payments under both the 2011 and 2012 Single Payment Schemes are necessary in order to ensure that the National Ceilings for the Scheme for the years in ques...More Button

However, in pursuing this objective, the budget for the 2011 Scheme was marginally exceeded and the projections for the budget for the 2012 Scheme are similar. In light of this, the only prudent ...More Button

There are technical issues involved in relation to the overshoot of the National Ceiling, in that under the EU Commission requirements it is necessary payments under earlier SPS schemes must be a...More Button

Turning to payments in respect of the 2012 SPS Scheme, I am delighted with the level of payments that have been made by my Department since balancing payments commenced less than two weeks ago. I...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

Was asked: the penalties that have been imposed on farmers that have not been able to comply with the rushes control criteria for their single farm payment; if he has looked at extending the period of time fo...More Button

My Department, in the context of delivering the Single Payment Schemes, Disadvantaged Areas’ Scheme and other area related schemes, is required to carry out a programme of annual inspections. This ...More Button

In order to be eligible under the Single Payment Scheme and other area based schemes, an applicant must ensure that all agricultural land is maintained in good agricultural and environmental cond...More Button

Farmers can keep grassland in GAEC by conducting an agricultural activity on it, such as grazing, harvesting forage crops, or by topping. Grasslands continue to be eligible where it is evident th...More Button

I am acutely aware of the weather related difficulties being experienced by farmers and of their concern in respect of their ability to meet the various compliance requirements. When conducting i...More Button

Where land is deemed ineligible, this, in the main, is a result of the inclusion of ineligible areas/features and where it is not being used for an agricultural purpose. In cases where land with ...More Button

In the event that a penalty is applied as a result of an inspection, an individual applicant can look for the decision to be reviewed. The applicant may subsequently appeal the outcome of any su...More Button

In this context, it is important that I stress the importance of the Direct Payment Schemes to both the farmers who receive these payments and also the wider rural economy. Annually these payment...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) may expect to receive their headage payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not issued as the holding concerned has not satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012.More Button

I might add that the changes introduced for the 2012 Scheme did not in any way impact on this case since the stocking density would not have met the pre-existing requirements either. The facts o...More Button

The appeal process is, of course, available, and should there be particular reasons which have prevented the person concerned having a higher stocking density on the holding in 2012, my Departmen...More Button

Land Transfers

Was asked: the steps he has taken to encourage land transfers to young farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Recent analysis shows that there are more farmers over 80 than under 35. The situation has been deteriorating for many years, both in Ireland and in the rest of Europe.

  I have...More Button

Live Exports

Was asked: the progress he is making on the resumption of the live export trade to the Middle East and North Africa, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt; the position regarding veterinary certificates for live cattle to th...More Button

While the three markets in question are open to exports of live cattle from Ireland, no trade is currently taking place. The question of when trade will begin is dependent on a number of factors, i...More Button

Coillte Teoranta Dividend

Was asked: the amount of dividend paid by Coillte Teoranta to the State in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Coillte Teoranta paid a dividend of €2 million to the State in September 2012. This was an interim dividend in respect of the period January to June 2012. Discussions regarding final dividend for 2...More Button

Common Agricultural Policy Reform

Was asked: if it is mandatory under the proposed regulations for the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 to divide the country into regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The CAP reform proposals provide an option for Member States to apply a regional approach but there is no obligation on Member States to do so.More Button

Suckler Welfare Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: the number of farmers broken down by county who will be affected by budget 2013 changes to the suckler cow welfare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, is, in fact, is due to end on 31 December 2012. This Scheme was a five-year Scheme for beef animals born in herds owned by eligible participants during the period, w...More Button

-Enhance welfare standards for animals produced from the suckler cow herd.More Button

-Improve husbandry standards at weaning time leading to reduced illness and mortality and enhanced health of the National herd.More Button

-Provide education and knowledge building among farmers on best practice in suckler herd health and welfare.More Button

- Improve the genetic quality of the national suckler herd.More Button

- Improve the competitiveness of the Irish beef industry and the quality of the beef produced.More Button

A Value for Money Audit, which was undertaken in accordance with the Department of Finance Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative, established that the Scheme has largely achieved these obj...More Button

In addition, I have allocated €10 million in 2013, financed from unspent Single Farm Payment Funds for a new support programme for suckler beef farmers to participate in a new Beef Data Programme...More Button

I have arranged for the data requested by the Deputy by county to be forwarded directly to him in the format required. More Button

Feabhsú Céanna

Is le mo Roinn an Cuan Thuaidh in Oileán Chléire agus tá sí freagrach dá réir sin as é a chothabháil agus a dheisiú. Tá monatóireacht á déanamh ag mo Roinn ar chúrsaí ag an gCuan Thuaidh le roinnt...More Button

Tá an tionscadal ag Cléire ag dul ar aghaidh mar a beartaíodh. I mí Dheireadh Fómhair 2012 taisceadh iarratas pleanála ar oibreacha forbartha ag Cléire le Comhairle Contae Chorcaí agus cuireadh ...More Button

Tá dul chun cinn a dhéanamh maidir le forbairt Chléire faoi Chlár Forbartha Caipitil um Chuanta Iascaigh agus Bonneagar Cósta de chuid mo Roinne. Breithneofar leithdháileadh an mhaoinithe le hag...More Button

Is le Comhairle Contae na Gaillimhe an cuan ag Inis Oírr agus tá siadsan freagrach as é a dheisiú agus a chothabháil. Tá ról ag an Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta i bhforbairt bhonnea...More Button

Tá maoiniú curtha ar fáil ag mo Roinn, áfach, le blianta beaga anuas faoina Clár Forbarthaum Chuanta Iascaigh agus Bonneagar Cósta chun cuanta, céanna agus slipeanna atá faoi úinéireacht na nÚdar...More Button

Tá sé beartaithe agam iarratais a iarraidh, in ord tosaíochta, ó Údaráis Áitiúla ar an gcósta le haghaidh tionscadail cháilithe lena n-áireamh faoi Chlár na bliana 2013. Déanfar aon iarratas a c...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Applications

Was asked: the measures taken by his Department to allow farmers additional time to comply with rushes control criteria for the single farm payment in view of the weather experienced this year and the inabili...More Button

My Department, in the context of delivering the Single Payment Schemes, Disadvantaged Areas’ Scheme and other area related schemes, is required to carry out a programme of annual inspections. This ...More Button

In order to be eligible under the Single Payment Scheme and other area based schemes, an applicant must ensure that all agricultural land is maintained in good agricultural and environmental cond...More Button

Farmers can keep grassland in GAEC by conducting an agricultural activity on it, such as grazing, harvesting forage crops, or by topping. Grasslands continue to be eligible where it is evident th...More Button

I am acutely aware of the weather related difficulties being experienced by farmers and of their concern in respect of their ability to meet the various compliance requirements. When conducting i...More Button

In the event that a penalty is applied as a result of an inspection, an individual applicant can look for the decision to be reviewed. The applicant may subsequently appeal the outcome of any su...More Button

In this context, it is important that I stress the importance of the Direct Payment Schemes to both the farmers who receive these payments and also the wider rural economy. Annually these payment...More Button

Animal Welfare Issues

Was asked: if he is satisfied that adequate provision has been made to meet requirements and costs imposed on the agrifood sector arising from the implementation of animal welfare legislation after 1 January ...More Button

The Animal Health and Welfare Bill, in the main, consolidates existing legislation in the animal health and welfare area. It does not introduce any new requirements on farmers. Animal welfare is an...More Button

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme Payments

Was asked: the amount allocated to the TAMs scheme in 2012 by his Department; the amount that has been spent to date in 2012 on the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Total funding of €20 million was provided in the Department’s Vote this year for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes which provide support for investment in the Poultry, Sow, Dairy and ...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

Was asked: the number of applications received under the agri-environment options scheme 3 by 7 December 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Approximately 10,000 AEOS 3 applications were received in my Department’s offices at Johnstown Castle by close of business on Friday December 7, the closing date for submission of applications unde...More Button

Was asked: if he intends to extend the latest date for applications under the agri-environment options scheme 3; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

On 25th September 2012, I announced the re-opening the Agri Environment Options Scheme, AEOS III. Despite the challenging budgetary constraints I secured a budget of €20 million to...More Button

Budget 2013

Was asked: his view on the impact of budget 2013 changes to low income dry stock farmers with suckler cows and sheep with changes to the suckler cow welfare scheme, the sheep grasslands scheme and disadvantag...More Button

Bearing in mind that the 2013 Budget was agreed against a background of a very difficult financial situation, I managed, with re-orienting and re-scheduling payments within my Department’s budget, ...More Button

In relation to the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, I am extremely pleased that, even within the tight budgetary disciplines, I was able to increase the funding for this Scheme by €5 million in 2013, ...More Button

The Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme was a five-year Scheme which is ending on 31 December 2012. I have, however, made funding of €10 million available for this Scheme in 2013. These funds will be used...More Button

It was important to build on progress made under the lifetime of the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme. Therefore, I have allocated €10 million in 2013, financed from unspent Single Farm Payment Funds f...More Button

The Grassland Sheep Scheme is one of the measures funded by unused Single Farm Payment funds. This Scheme, as originally implemented, was to run for three years: 2010, 2011 and 2012, with an annu...More Button

Direct aid payments are important, but it is time for the sheep sector to adapt and develop their enterprises in line with other sectors. In that regard, I have decided to make funding of €3 mill...More Button

Was asked: the anticipated impact of all the cuts arising from budget 2013 on farm income. More Button

The budget for my Department in 2013 was largely determined by the gross expenditure ceilings that were allocated to all Departments under the Government’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework, 2012-2...More Button

Suckler Welfare Scheme Payments

Was asked: his reasons for discontinuing the suckler cow welfare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In the first instance I would like to set the record straight in that no decision was made to discontinue the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, which, in fact, is due to end on 31 December 2012. This Sch...More Button

- Enhance welfare standards for animals produced from the suckler cow herd.More Button

- Improve husbandry standards at weaning time leading to reduced illness and mortality and enhanced health of the National herd.More Button

- Provide education and knowledge building among farmers on best practice in suckler herd health and welfare.More Button

- Improve the genetic quality of the national suckler herd.More Button

- Improve the competitiveness of the Irish beef industry and the quality of the beef produced.More Button

A Value for Money Audit, which was undertaken in accordance with the Department of Finance Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative, established that the Scheme has largely achieved these obj...More Button

In addition, I have allocated €10 million in 2013, financed from unspent Single Farm Payment Funds for a new support programme for suckler beef farmers to participate in a new Beef Data Programme...More Button

In total, I have made provision for the payment aid amounting to €25 million to the beef sector in 2013. I announced the establishment of a Beef Technology Adoption Programme in 2012, which will ...More Button

Aquaculture Licences Applications

Was asked: when he expects to make a decision on the licence application by BIM for a fish farm licence in Galway Bay; the progress made to date with the consideration of this application; and if he will make...More Button

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has submitted an application to my Department for an Aquaculture and a Foreshore Licence for the cultivation of Finfish near Inis Oirr in Galway Bay. The application and ...More Button

Agrifood Sector Issues

Was asked: the extent to which he hopes to be in a position to make good any losses likely to be suffered by any particular category of farmer arising from ongoing financial constraints arising from the econo...More Button

 While personal financial difficulties are primarily a matter between the individual farmers and their banks, nevertheless, my Department is in regular contact with farm bodies, various nation...More Button

Single Payment Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of applications received on a county basis for the single farm payment this year; the number disallowed; the number paid to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The details sought by the Deputy are set out in the table. However, with appeals ongoing and payments being made twice weekly, in order to maximise payments by year end, the picture continues to e...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide information in respect of details on the number of single farm payment and disadvantaged areas applications for County Leitrim covering the number of land eligibility and cross c...More Button

As it is not possible to compile the full information requested in the available timescale, I am arranging for it to be provided directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

European Council Meetings

Was asked: if there have been any discussions at the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers meetings in relation to the terms and conditions being imposed by the large supermarket chains on food processors and p...More Button

The Presidency Conclusions of the Council on 29 March 2010 invited the Commission to explore ways of favouring a proportionate balance of bargaining power between stakeholders in the food supply ch...More Button

In response the European Commission established a High Level Forum and a business-to-business Expert Platform to make recommendations on eliminating unfair practices. During 2011 the Platform ag...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of applications received under the disadvantaged areas scheme in 2012; the number paid to date; the number of applications rejected and the number yet to be decided broken down by county...More Button

Payments under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme commenced, on target, on 26 September and, to date, payments worth in excess of €193 million have issued to 87,322 farmers. Payments continue to i...More Button

Suckler Welfare Scheme Extension

Was asked: the changes made to the suckler cow welfare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, is, in fact, is due to end on 31 December 2012. This Scheme was a five-year Scheme for beef animals born in herds owned by eligible participants during the period, w...More Button

- Enhance welfare standards for animals produced from the suckler cow herd.More Button

- Improve husbandry standards at weaning time leading to reduced illness and mortality and enhanced health of the National herd.More Button

- Provide education and knowledge building among farmers on best practice in suckler herd health and welfare.More Button

- Improve the genetic quality of the national suckler herd.More Button

- Improve the competitiveness of the Irish beef industry and the quality of the beef produced.More Button

A Value for Money Audit, which was undertaken in accordance with the Department of Finance Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative, established that the Scheme has largely achieved these obj...More Button

In total, I have made provision for the payment of aid amounting to €25 million to the beef sector in 2013. I announced the establishment of a Beef Technology Adoption Programme in 2012, which wi...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the amount of money allocated to his Department in 2012; the amount spent up to 30 November 2012; the amount profiled for expenditure by that date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The total Vote funding available to my Department for 2012 is €1.339 billion. This includes €27 million capital funding carried over from 2011. A profile of projected expenditure on a monthly basi...More Button

The total actual gross expenditure incurred over the period 1 January to end November was €1.046 billion. This compares to a profiled expenditure of €1.169 billion for the same period. For a vari...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the underspend of €30 million, €19 million current and €11 million capital, against profile at the end of November; the steps being taken to ensure no underspend at year end in view ...More Button

The total Vote funding provided for my Department in 2012 is €1.339 billion. This includes €27 million capital funding carried over from 2011. More Button

A profile of projected expenditure on a monthly basis is drawn up at the beginning of each financial year in order to anticipate the Department’s funding requirements and financial management ove...More Button

The data published in the Exchequer return quoted in the question was prepared by my Department towards the end of November and was based on anticipated expenditure to the end of the month. The v...More Button

I expect that in most cases expenditure will ‘catch up’ before the end of the year. All elements of expenditure is being monitored and managed carefully by my Department with a view to minimising...More Button

Beef Data Programme

Was asked: his views on whether there may be limited uptake of the new beef data programme due to the significant reduction in payments in comparison to the suckler cow welfare scheme; and if he will make a s...More Button

The Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme was a five-year Scheme which is ending on 31 December 2012.. Taking into account payments of €22 million approximately, which will be issued in respect of 2012 born c...More Button

It was important to build on progress made under the lifetime of the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme. Therefore, I have allocated €10 million in 2013, financed from unspent Single Farm Payment Funds f...More Button

The objectives of the new measure are summarised as follows.More Button

- An increase in the number of commercial suckler herds that are engaged in the submission of beef data for breeding purposes;More Button

- An increase in the amount of data from commercial farms around the country on traits of high relevance to beef farmers (e.g. Sire, dam, calving ease, weanling quality, docility) that can be used...More Button

- Substantially more accurate genetic evaluations for a wide range of traits. The lack of data recording hampers the production of Beef Genetic indexes with reliable figures (large volumes of data...More Button

- An increase in the uptake of cattle breeding related information services;More Button

- An increase in the use that commercial beef producers make of genetic evaluations;More Button

- Improvement in Ireland’s capability to capitalise on Genomics technology in the beef herd. This technology has already enabled the acceleration of genetic gain in the dairy herd (worth an extra ...More Button

The exact details of this new measure are being finalised and my priority is to ensure that the funding is fully utilised within the suckler sector. My view is that the level of funding (€10 mill...More Button

Food Industry Development

Was asked: the impact that the introduction of a sugar tax or an increase in regulation of the food industry in relation to matters of obesity would have on the food industry here; if there has been stakehold...More Button

Obesity is a major public health challenge, particularly in regard to diabetes and cardio vascular disease, and has been exacerbated as a result of our changing social, economic and physical enviro...More Button

My colleague Minister Reilly set up a Special Action Group on Obesity (SAGO), comprising representatives from his Department, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Educa...More Button

Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations

Was asked: the progress made to date with the negotiations surrounding the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have said previously that Ireland is prepared to put a major effort into securing a deal on CAP reform during the Irish EU Presidency. However, to do this, three things need to happen:

-...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Was asked: when payment in respect of agri-environment option scheme will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person named was approved for participation in the 2010 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st September 2010 and full payment has issued in respect of both 20...More Button

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Was asked: when a REP scheme 4 payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person named commenced REPS 4 in May 2009 and has received payments for the first three years of their contract.More Button

REPS 4 is a measure under the 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any paym...More Button

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: if previous participation in REP scheme, including a significant proportion of marginal land in their holding and resultant difficulties in continuing to adhere to the high environmental management...More Button

An Agri-environment Options Scheme application was received in my Department from the person named on 29th November 2012. About 10,000 applications have been received and all applic...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Was asked: the position regarding payment of a disadvantaged area grant in respect of a person (details supplied)More Button

Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme issued to the person named on 25 September 2012, directly to the nominated bank account.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding payment of a disadvantage area grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.More Button

Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012. Immedi...More Button

Was asked: when payment of the disadvantaged area scheme will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As processing of the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account.More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a disadvantaged area payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012. Immedi...More Button

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their appeal for disadvantage area aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The appeal of the person named was recently forwarded to the DAS Appeals Committee for consideration; immediately that Committee has adjudicated on this appeal, the person concerned will be notifie...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their appeal for disadvantaged area aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As processing of the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application has recently been finalised, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account.More Button