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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 858 - 876
 Header Item Companies Law Issues
 Header Item Milk Quota Applications
 Header Item Grant Payments
 Header Item Fur Farming
 Header Item Departmental Staff Grades
 Header Item Fisheries Protection
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications
 Header Item Animal Welfare Issues
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications
 Header Item Forestry Grants
 Header Item Beef Exports
 Header Item Registration of Title
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Grant Payments
 Header Item Dairy Sector
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 788 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 124 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 858 - 876

Companies Law Issues

 858. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if his Department is currently investigating the matter of share allocation and share certification relating to the amalgamation of companies (details supplied); if he will confirm that the awarded shares to co-op members who are, in value terms, at a par with the shares allocated to the members of another co-op; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [58118/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I wish to inform the Deputy that my Department is not engaged in any investigation involving the share allocation and share certification relating to the amalgamation of the named companies and is not aware of any issues relating to this amalgamation.

Questions relating to such matters may be more appropriate for the Registrar of Friendly Societies and, following enquiries, I have been informed by that Office that the named companies amalgamated in late 2000, and the amalgamated entity was registered on 1 November 2000.   The Registrar goes on to inform me that Section 52 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 provides that “Any two or more registered societies may, by special resolution of both or all such societies, become amalgamated together as one society…”   and that the terms of amalgamation are purely a matter for the amalgamating societies, in which the Registrar has no role, other than to register the special resolutions approved by the amalgamating bodies, and register the newly established society.   

Milk Quota Applications

 859. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58138/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Milk Quota Temporary Leasing Scheme allows milk producers to offer for lease through their milk purchaser, on a temporary basis, all or part of their milk quota that they do not expect to use in the current quota year.

If a producer intends to offer 80% or more of their quota to the scheme they must first apply to my Department for a Ministerial Declaration permitting them to do so. Approval for such applications can only be granted in force majeure   or other duly justified cases, where production capacity has been temporarily affected.

  The named person (details supplied), was unsuccessful with his application for a Ministerial Declaration with regard to the 2012/2013 Scheme. An appeal to review this decision was subsequently received in my Department and I can inform you that having considered the additional information submitted in the appeal, it was decided to approve the application on that occasion.

  The named person and his Co-op were notified of this decision by letter on 15 November 2012.

Grant Payments

 860. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the amount of all payments paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal between 2002 and 2012. [58153/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In keeping with obligations under data protection legislation, the information requested will issue by my Department by post to the person named. I would like to clarify that such payment details are available to any farmer on request from the Accounts Division of my Department, telephone number 049 4368271.

Fur Farming

 861. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if any of the five fur farms have given notification to his Department that they no longer have minks kept as per the condition on the licence applicable to minks issued under the Musk Rats Act 1933 (Application to Minks) Order 1965 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [58171/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department has been advised by one currently licensed mink farming company that it no longer keeps mink.

Departmental Staff Grades

 862. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will provide in tabular form the breakdown of staff in the Department of the Marine under the titles, total staff numbers; staff positions; locations of staff for the Department, numbers within each location, along with potential forecasts of staff numbers in the medium future and where they might be found within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58198/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Provisional figures for the end of 2012 show the number of staff in my Department to be 3,276 full-time equivalents (FTEs) who are deployed across a number of grade streams, as indicated in Table 1 below:

  Table 1: DAFM Staff by Grade Stream
Grade Stream End-2012 FTE
Administrative 1,719
Technical 709
Veterinary 273
Laboratory 194
Inspectorate 188
Other 131
Industrial 62


  My Department has a staffing presence in some 200 locations predominantly in over 70 meat factories countrywide. The greatest concentration of staff occurs in headquarter locations in Dublin, Backweston, Portlaoise, Johnstown Castle, Cavan and Clonakilty. A further cohort is employed in the Department’s network of Regional Offices (16) and Laboratories (9). A breakdown of staff numbers in these major areas is as in Table 2 below:

  Table 2: Staff numbers in particular areas in DAFM
AREA FTE
Dublin (Agriculture House) 490
Backweston (including Lab. complex) 376
Portlaoise 436
Johnstown Castle (Wexford) 236
Cavan 141
Clonakilty 84
Regional Office Network 726
Factory locations 237
Laboratories (excluding Backweston) 118


Maximum staffing levels for each Government Department/Office are determined annually by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the context of the Employment Control Framework (ECF). The mid-2014 ECF ceiling for my Department is 3,107 FTE. DAFM is actively re-organising and restructuring in order to deploy its workforce effectively across all Programmes to maintain current high levels of service delivery against this background of future significant staffing reductions.

Fisheries Protection

 863. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the next stage of development regarding the mackerel negotiations between the EU and Norway with Iceland and the Faroe Islands; his views on the reason they have not succeeded to date; the way he will use Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU to bring a remedy to the negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58201/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Coastal States negotiations on mackerel management arrangements for 2013, involving, Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU (with the Russian Federation as observers) failed to reach agreement after 3 days of talks which started on the 22nd of October 2012 in London. There are no plans to reconvene these consultations and the EU and Norway as the recognised largest shareholders will set overall fishing limits based on the current scientific advice

This dispute has been ongoing since 2009 when Iceland who previously had little or no landings of mackerel embarked on an unapproved and irresponsible course of setting unilateral TACS culminating with a 150,000t in 2012. The Faroe Islands, who had previously participated with Norway and the EU in management arrangements then opted out of these arrangements and embarked on a similar exercise to Iceland, declaring a 150,000t TAC for themselves in 2012.

While accepting that the migratory pattern of mackerel has changed in recent years, and that a modest increase in shares of this stock for both Iceland and the Faroes is warranted, there is no scientific or historical justification why these two fishing nations should be fishing over 40% of this stock. Indeed their actions are now directly threatening the state of the stock and the current level of overfishing will result in cuts year on year in the TAC and quota. Indeed, the scientific advice for the stock involves a cut of 15% on last year’s recommended TAC, which I accept is necessary.

Despite numerous meetings convened since 2009 Iceland and the Faroe islands continue with their unjustifiable demands for shares of 15% while at the same time fishing 23% of the stock each. They have brought no realistic or fair proposals to the table, and at the conclusion of last October’s talks there was little evidence that this position would change in the short term.

A healthy mackerel stock is essential for the Irish pelagic fleet, pelagic processing industry and for employment in the wider coastal communities. The present situation is therefore of major concern to me and I have been consistently active in trying to find a way to bring about a fair and appropriate solution.

At the European Council of Fisheries Ministers, I will continue to take every opportunity to influence and convince all parties to resolve the issue not least because there is a real possibility of a stock collapse if catches are not reduced significantly.

In this context Ireland are currently hosting the EU/ Norway negotiations at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty this week, where it is expected that decisions on the TAC and quota will be made. However, only the EU and Norway will respect the TAC set. In these EU/ Norway negotiations, Ireland will be seeking joint measures from the EU and Norway including the possibility of trade sanctions to pressurise Iceland and the Faroe islands to stop their unsustainable fishing actions and come to the table with realistic and fair demands for sharing and management arrangements.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

 864. Deputy Michelle Mulherin Information on Michelle Mulherin Zoom on Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an agri environment option scheme application in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Mayo; if payment will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58206/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  The person named was approved for participation in the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st   September 2011.

  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 issues were identified which are currently being examined by my Department, and once satisfactorily resolved, payment will issue at the earliest opportunity.

Animal Welfare Issues

 865. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his views regarding Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Inspectors; if they will be considered as authorised officers under the Animal Health and Welfare Bill in relation to non-farm cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1022/13]

 868. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will consider Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Inspectors as authorised officers in relation to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill in relation to non-farm cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1039/13]

 884. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will support proposals from the ISPCA (details supplied) on the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. [1338/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 865, 868 and 884 together. 

  The Animal Health & Welfare Bill as currently drafted would allow ISPCA inspectors to be appointed as authorised officers for certain purposes under the Bill. This would grant them the type of powers referred to by the Deputy. The appointment of such inspectors would be on an individual basis and will be dealt with once the Animal Health & Welfare Bill has been enacted.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 866. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of disadvantaged area scheme payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1034/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  While an application under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 10 May 2012, payment has not yet issued as the conditions of the Scheme have not been satisfied, at this stage, in regard to the registration of an equine premises. The Terms and Conditions governing the 2012 Scheme require, inter alia  , that all such premises must be registered with my Department, in accordance with S.I. No 8 of 2012, Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Registration of Horse Premises) Order 2012. Once it has been established that this requirement has been satisfied, the application concerned can be further processed with a view to payment.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Applications

 867. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their agri environment option scheme payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1037/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (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 the 1st   November 2010 and full payments totalling €783.84 and €4,703.01 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively.

  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 for 2012 an overclaim was discovered on the Non Natura Commonage action which will result in a penalty being applied. Officials in my Department are finalising the application of the person named on this basis with the intention of issuing payment as soon as possible.

  Question No. 868 answered with Question No. 865.

Forestry Grants

 869. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1040/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Following receipt of additional information in this case relating to an area under forestry, the applicant was paid on 20 December 2012 in respect of the full area claimed (6.72 hectares).

Beef Exports

 870. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to the stance by Canada in refusing to allow access for EU beef into their jurisdiction, the progress that has been made in negotiations to ensure a fairer and more balanced approach in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1073/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I share the Deputy’s concerns regarding Canada’s position in relation to beef market access in the EU / Canada free trade negotiations where they are maintaining their ban on beef imports from the EU but, we understand, seeking large quotas for Canadian beef exports to Europe.

  My concerns in this regard are two-fold. Firstly Canada, which has the same OIE ‘controlled BSE’ status as many EU countries, refuses to accept these OIE international standards and allow market access for EU beef into Canada, while at the same time it expects that the EU will grant large beef quotas into the EU. (The OIE is the international body charged with setting epidemiological standards in the meat sector.) Second, I have major concerns with the size and composition of the quotas sought by Canada, which could undermine the high value cuts segment of the EU where Ireland competes and which provides the greatest return to our producers.

  I have made my position very clear to the Commission. Last April, Ireland submitted a position paper on these negotiations to the Trade Policy Committee, highlighting our concerns over the non-recognition by Canada of the OIE international standards on beef. I personally wrote to both the EU Agriculture and Trade Commissioners in November, highlighting the political sensitivities for Ireland regarding beef market access. This followed contact the previous month by the Secretary General of my Department with the Director Generals of the Agriculture and Trade Directorates in the Commission.

In his response, the Agriculture Commissioner stated that he has highlighted the sensitivity of beef market access in these trade negotiations with his Canadian Ministerial counterpart and agrees that the sensitivity of beef should not only be reflected in the size of the quotas offered but also in their breakdown. He also agreed with Ireland’s position on the necessary reopening of the Canadian beef market for EU exports and that Canada must commit itself to reopening the Canadian market to EU beef before the conclusion of the CETA agreement. The Commissioner has also highlighted that dairy is the key offensive interest in the CETA negotiations and that EU negotiations are seeking a meaningful opening of Canada dairy market.

  When the College of Commissioners visited Dublin on 10 January, 2013, I raised this issue at a meeting with them and highlighted the importance of Irish agriculture and the beef industry to the Irish economy in light of the current economic crisis and my concerns regarding beef market access and the size and composition of any quotas.

Registration of Title

 871. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the entitlements that have been paid on land (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1081/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The information being sought is personal data within the meaning of the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2003 and the Minister cannot disclose such data without the consent of the data subjects. However, if the Deputy can provide the relevant consent/s, I would be willing to provide such information directly to the Deputy.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Applications

 872. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of farmers who applied under the disadvantaged area payments for 2012; the number who have received their payment; the number of farmers who have had their application rejected and the number of applications which have not yet been processed fully broken down on a county basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1088/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Given the various qualifying criteria under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, particularly in relation to minimum stocking density (both the requirement to achieve a six month average of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectares and also to maintain an annual average of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectares calculated over the 12 months of the scheme year), the need for those with equines to have their holdings appropriately registered, etc, the position regarding certain applicants cannot be finally established for some weeks yet. Bearing this in mind, the data as otherwise sought are as outlined in the following Table:

County
Applied
Paid
Amount
Carlow
748
699
€1,439,770.41
Cavan
4,845
4,509
€9,814,949.54
Clare
6,137
5,656
€13,684,923.14
Cork
7,126
6,535
€15,002,022.37
Donegal
8,367
7,204
€16,673,751.14
Dublin
133
114
€243,379.40
Galway
12,195
10,718
€23,285,623.86
Kerry
7,719
6,887
€17,066,385.59
Kildare
517
459
€813,863.44
Kilkenny
1,766
1,634
€3,433,806.90
Laois
1,713
1,565
€3,120,330.76
Leitrim
3,493
3,090
€7,009,960.04
Limerick
2,929
2,662
€5,288,348.83
Longford
2,389
2,222
€4,905,072.16
Louth
749
667
€1,116,353.20
Mayo
11,578
10,116
€21,556,489.95
Meath
1,322
1,243
€2,276,936.02
Monaghan
4,091
3,773
€7,534,310.07
Offaly
2,396
2,193
€4,390,010.41
Roscommon
5,746
5,274
€11,677,416.63
Sligo
4,039
3,566
€7,810,068.16
Tipperary
4,531
4,141
€8,867,240.05
Waterford
1,433
1,301
€2,678,860.75
Westmeath
2,641
2,422
€4,951,834.22
Wexford
1,425
1,247
€2,294,304.56
Wicklow
1,732
1,561
€3,814,418.66
TOTALS
101,760
91,458
€200,750,430.26

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 873. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of farmers who appealed the decision of his Department in relation to the disadvantaged area payment scheme to the Independent Disadvantaged Areas Appeals Committee; the number of appeals decided to date; the number of these appeals that were successful and the number rejected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1089/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A total of 1,433 farmers availed of their right to appeal to the DAS Appeals Committee.

A high percentage of applicants submitted supporting documentation with their appeals which had not previously been submitted to my Department, thus necessitating examination by my officials before the necessity to refer the appeals in question to the Appeals Committee could be confirmed. To date, some 1,008 cases have been reviewed by my officials, of which 406 have been accepted, on the basis of the fresh evidence provided, without the need to refer the appeals to the Committee. The balance, 602 cases, were referred to the Committee, with my Department’s decision to refuse the appeal being upheld in 354 cases, a further 191 being allowed, while the Committee sought further information in respect of 57 cases.

The balance of cases, 425 (i.e. 1,433 total appeals, less 1,008 dealt with as outlined above), are currently being processed. In all cases, applicants are being advised, in writing, of the outcome of their appeal.

Grant Payments

 874. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney further to Parliamentary Question No. 527 of 4 December 2012, the reason this Deputy was informed that a person (details supplied) would receive payment shortly and that the processing of the application was completed when an inspection was carried out on the applicants farm on the 20 of December and as a result no payment has issued to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1090/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I regret that, due to an error, the Deputy was inadvertently not given the correct position in relation to the payment status of the person concerned in my earlier reply. I would now like to take the opportunity to correct the record in this regard.

  The position is that it has not been possible to make payment in this case because of outstanding issues arising from the inspection process.

An inspection to verify compliance with both land eligibility and cross compliance regulatory requirements took place on 20th   December 2012, which it was not possible to complete on the day. My Department is anxious to progress the inspection process to finality and has recently been in further contact with the applicant in this regard. On completion of the inspection process, the matter can be progressed.

Dairy Sector

 875. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he has given consideration to the proposal from the Irish Farmers' Association for a loan scheme to invest in the development of the Irish dairy industry; his view on this proposal; if he intends introducing such a scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1091/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The proposal for a loan scheme from the IFA is one of a number of submissions made to my Department aimed at addressing issues relating to the preparation by the dairy sector for the post quota era.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 876. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he intends to reduce the payment on the first 10 hectares of land under the disadvantaged areas scheme to farmers in areas classified as mountain that do not have sheep; the amount of any proposed reduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1092/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As part of the changes made to some schemes implemented by my Department for 2013 under the Budget process, I allocated an additional €5 million for funding payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme in 2013. This brings the total funding for this Scheme to €195 million. However, in view of the level of expenditure under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, it was necessary to make some changes to the 2013 Scheme.

In that regard, I can confirm that there will be a reduction in the maximum payable area for More and Less Severely Disadvantaged lands from 34 to 30 hectares. This change will have no impact of farmers claiming Mountain Type Grazing or other applicants with 30 hectares or less of other categories of Disadvantaged land. The exact details and requirements of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme are still under consideration. Details of the Scheme will be announced in the coming weeks.


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