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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 417-432
 Header Item Livestock Thefts
 Header Item Installation Aid Scheme Applications
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Development Programme Funding
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Mergers
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Board Appointments
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
 Header Item Installation Aid Scheme Applications
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 824 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 417-432

Livestock Thefts

 417. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the number of cases where livestock cattle have been reported as stolen since January 2012; and if he will provide a breakdown per county on reported instances of this nature. [52693/13]

 418. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the actions his Department has implemented to reduce the number of instances of livestock cattle thefts across the State. [52695/13]

 419. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will consider introducing a compensation scheme for farmers who have had livestock stolen from their lands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52696/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 417 to 419, inclusive, together.

  A breakdown of the number of bovines reported as stolen since January 2012 on a county basis is set out in the following table.

County 2012 1 January-5 Dec 2013 Total
Carlow 1 -- 1
Cavan 17 3 20
Clare -- 20 20
Cork -- 5 5
Donegal 19 10 29
Dublin 1 -- 1
Galway 6 12 18
Kerry 7 10 17
Kildare -- 1 1
Kilkenny 2 -- 2
Laois 6 31 37
Leitrim -- 10 10
Limerick 13 38 51
Longford 1 -- 1
Louth 2 13 15
Mayo 9 34 43
Meath 5 33 38
Monaghan 13 48 61
Offaly 8 -- 8
Roscommon 17 4 21
Sligo -- -4 4
Tipperary 6 4 10
Waterford -- 1 1
Westmeath -- 17 17
Wexford -- -- --
Wicklow -- -- --
Overall Total 133 298 431
  

  Any incident involving stolen cattle should be reported to the Garda Siochána in the first instance as the Gardaí have primary responsibility for investigating such matters. Where necessary, this Department through the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), will assist the Gardaí with their investigations into cases of stolen animals and this could involve liaison with cross Border colleagues. In this regard, a cross border liaison Group comprising the SIU, Gardaí and PSNI liaise and investigate the theft of livestock on an all-Ireland basis.

  Stolen cattle cannot be traded legally in the State as all bovines must bear official ear tags, be properly registered and be located on this Department’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database in the herd of the individual moving or selling the bovine. When cattle are reported as stolen to my Department, they are marked on the AIM database as being stolen on foot of a Garda report. If these animals are presented anywhere in the State for sale, slaughter or export they are checked against the database and will be rejected at these outlets and an investigation initiated.

  My Department has no plans to introduce a compensation scheme for farmers that have had livestock stolen from their holdings.

Installation Aid Scheme Applications

 420. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his plans to reintroduce the installation aid scheme for young farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52703/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The new EU policy framework for rural development for the 2014-2020 period is being finalised at present and a large number of submissions from interested parties have been received by my Department in relation to Ireland’s next rural development programme, including proposals in regard to the introduction of a new installation aid scheme.

In the determination of the areas in which grant-aid will be made available in that programme, I will be examining all options and consulting relevant stakeholders to ensure that the maximum benefit is derived from the financial resources which will be available.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 421. 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 the position regarding farm payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52734/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas’ Scheme application on 16 May 2013. EU Regulations governing the administration of the schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases on farm inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a ground eligibility inspection. This inspection has been completed and the results finalised. Payments under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas’ and Single Payment Schemes issued to the nominated bank account of person named on 29 November 2013 and 5 December 2013, respectively.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 422. 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 the position regarding farm payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52737/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A review of the land declared by the person named under the Single Payment Scheme revealed that two land parcels were over-declared. The applicant has sought a review of the decision and this review is currently being undertaken. My Department will be in direct contact with the person named regarding the outcome of this review shortly. If the applicant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, he can appeal his case to the Independent LPIS Appeals Committee.

Rural Development Programme Funding

 423. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will consider providing matched funding and additional top-ups for the Common Agriculture Policy Pillar II programme; if he has met the Irish Farmers' Association on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52771/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The European Council agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) provides some €313m per year, or a total of €2.19bn, for Ireland under Pillar 2 of the CAP for the period 2014 – 2020.

A general EU co-financing rate of 53% is set out in the draft Rural Development Regulation but this rate may rise to a maximum of 80% for measures such as farm and business development, co-operation activities, and Leader projects. Environmental type measures may be co-funded up to 75%. The total Exchequer funding that will be required to draw down the available European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding will depend on the types of measures included in the new Rural Development Programme and on the co-financing rates applied to these measures.

There are a number of conditions attached to Ireland’s allocation of €313 million per annum. The draft Regulation provides that at least 5% of EAFRD funding must be reserved for Leader while the draft Common Provisions Regulation provides that 6% of EAFRD funding must be set aside to a national performance reserve. The funding set aside to the performance reserve will be allocated to each Member State following a performance review in 2019. Finally, the draft Rural Development Regulation sets out that 30% of the total EAFRD amount must be reserved for environmental operations and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Work is currently ongoing in my Department to design the new Rural Development Programme (RDP) for the period from 2014 – 2020. In designing the new RDP, my Department must take account of the range of requirements set out in the draft Rural Development Regulation and the need to support key policy aims for the agri-food sector in the light of the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. In undertaking this work, a number of ex-ante analyses are being undertaken and a public consultation process has also taken place. As part of this process, I have met with a number of stakeholders, including the Irish Farmers' Association.

While final decisions in relation to what measures are to be included in the new RDP have not yet been made, my Department is in ongoing contact with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to the overall financing that will be required. I expect to make decisions in relation to the measures to be supported under the new RDP by the end of this year, and to submit a draft programme to the Commission in early 2014.

Departmental Agencies Mergers

 424. 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 stage of the proposed merger of Coillte with Bord na Móna; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52772/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Government decided, in June 2013, that a robust analysis be carried out to evaluate how to give effect to a beneficial merger of Coillte with Bord na Móna to create a streamlined and refocused commercial state company operating in the bio-energy and forestry sectors, as committed to in the Programme for Government. NewERA is undertaking a financial evaluation on behalf of the relevant Government Departments (my Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources), which is currently being finalised. The Departments will then consider NewERA’s findings and it is intended that the relevant Ministers will bring a recommendation to Government on the matter shortly thereafter.

Departmental Agencies Board Appointments

 425. 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 reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is not being invited to board meetings of Coillte since being appointed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52773/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I wish to confirm to the Deputy that the appointment of the person in question to the Board of Coillte is currently under consideration.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 426. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if the insulation grant for young farmers will be reinstated; and if the early retirement scheme for farmers will be reinstated. [52784/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I presume that the Deputy is referring to the installation aid scheme (Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme) which was suspended for new applications in October 2008, together with the Early Retirement Scheme, as part of the decisions taken within the context of the 2009 Budget.

The new EU policy framework for rural development for the 2014-2020 period is being finalised at present and a large number of submissions from interested parties have been received by my Department in relation to Ireland’s next rural development programme. In the determination of the areas in which grant-aid will be made available in that programme, I will be examining all options and consulting relevant stakeholders to ensure that the maximum benefit is derived from the financial resources which will be available.

Installation Aid Scheme Applications

 427. Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney what fund is available to young farmers after they do their green card, as the fund that was in place ceased in 2007.  [52785/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme was suspended for new applications in October 2008 as part of the decisions taken within the context of the 2009 Budget and it has not been possible for financial reasons to re-open the Scheme since that date.

The new EU policy framework for rural development for the 2014-2020 period is being finalised at present and a large number of submissions from interested parties have been received by my Department in relation to Ireland’s next rural development programme. In the determination of the areas in which grant-aid will be made available in that programme, I will be examining all options and consulting relevant stakeholders to ensure that the maximum benefit is derived from the financial resources which will be available.

  Question No. 428 withdrawn.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 429. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason for the delay in making payments under the 2012 and 2013 agri-environment options scheme 1 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52815/13]

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 September 2010 and full payments have issued in respect of the 2010 and 2011 Scheme years.

  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, have to be completed before any payment can issue. During these checks in respect of the 2012 Scheme year a query arose in respect of land parcels declared, an appeal was lodged by the applicant and as a result the lands in question were to be re-digitised. This digitisation has now been completed by my Department and the application is being processed with a view to making the AEOS payment in respect of 2012 as soon as possible.

  Following the issue of the 2012 payment, the checking process will get underway in respect of the 2013 Scheme year.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 430. 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 when a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive their single farm payment for 2013; the reason for the delay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52821/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application on 12 April 2013. EU Regulations governing the administration of the schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases on-farm inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a ground eligibility/cross compliance inspection. This inspection has been completed and the results finalised. Payment under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme issued to the nominated bank account of person named on 5   December 2013. Payment under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme will issue shortly.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 431. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a disadvantaged areas scheme payment and a single farm payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52834/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The advance payment under the 2013 Single Payment Scheme issued to the person named on 22 November and the balancing payment on 2 December. Payment in respect of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme issued on 28 November 2013. All payments issued directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 432. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a decision will issue on an appeal for a derogation under the disadvantaged areas scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [52837/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An appeal under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was received from the person named on 25 November 2013, following consideration of which derogation has been allowed in this case. On foot of this decision, the application of the person named has been finalised with payment due to issue directly to the nominated bank account shortly.


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