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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 202-209
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes Eligibility
 Header Item EU Funding
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Stocking Densities
 Header Item Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 825 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 96 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 202-209

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 202. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will re-examine a reduction in a single farm payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54629/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the Single Payment Scheme was received from the person named on 9 May 2013. This application was processed and an advance payment issued in respect of the Single Payment Scheme on 14 November with the balancing payment issuing on 2 December.

Deductions in respect of both Modulation and Financial Discipline were applied to these payments in accordance with the EU Regulations governing the administration of the scheme. My Department, nor, indeed, any Member State, has any discretion in the application of either Modulation or Financial Discipline.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 203. 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 when the full single farm payment will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54658/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application in respect of the 2013 Single Farm Payment scheme was received from the person named on 14 May 2013. Processing of this application has been recently finalised and the supplementary payment due in respect of the afforested lands will issue in the coming days.

The advance and balancing payments due in respect of the other eligible land declared under the Single Payment Scheme issued to the nominated bank of the person named on 7 November and 2 December.

Agriculture Schemes Payments

 204. Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding the disadvantaged areas and single farm payments scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54708/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney An application under the 2013 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas’ scheme was received from the person named on 23 April 2013. During processing of this application errors were identified on three of the parcels declared, and the person named was notified by letter of the errors with maps of the relevant parcels enclosed. To date no response has been received.

An official from my Department will be in direct contact with the person named with the view to resolving the matter.

Agriculture Schemes Eligibility

 205. 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 a farmer who was renting land in 2006 and was not aware that they could have consolidated their entitlements, that is, never stacked entitlements on their own land, if there is a maximum number of years for stacking and if there a minimum time before which it has to be claimed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54711/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Consolidation of entitlements was available to farmers each year from 2005 where the number of hectares of eligible land declared by the farmer was less than the average number of hectares declared in the reference years 2000 – 2002. Applications for consolidation were available each year. The reduction in the number of hectares must have arisen because of one or more of the following circumstances:

- The acquisition of land by a public authority under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for non-agriculture.

- Lands leased in/ rented in during all or part of the reference period (2000-2002) where the lease /rental agreement has expired or will expire and the land parcels in question are no longer available.

  The farmer must however retain a number of hectares equally to at least 50% of the average area declared during the reference period.

  If the Deputy has a particular case in mind he should provide details of the case to my Department so that the case can be examined in detail.

EU Funding

 206. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the amount Ireland expects to benefit from the European agriculture and rural development fund between 2014 and 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54713/13]

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 a total of €2.19bn, or some €313m per year, for Ireland under Pillar 2 of the CAP for the period 2014 - 2020. The development of a new Rural Development Programme (RDP) under Pillar 2 will be a key support in enhancing the competitiveness of the agrifood sector, achieving more sustainable management of natural resources and ensuring a more balanced development of rural areas.

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. The draft Rural Development Regulation also 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 agrifood 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.

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, and work on the design of the new RDP is continuing in my Department as a matter of priority.

Single Payment Scheme Expenditure

 207. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will estimate the total direct single payments likely to benefit Irish farmers from 2014 to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54714/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The annual ceilings available to Ireland under the Direct Payment Regulation for the period 2015 to 2019 are set down in the Annex II of that Regulation as follows:

YearCeilings available
2015€1,215,003,000
2016€1,213,470,000
2017€1,211,899,000
2018€1,211,482,000
2019€1,211,066,000


  The ceiling available to Ireland for the 2014 scheme year is set down in the Transitional Regulation dealing with the arrangements for that year and is €1,216,547,000.

  The total amount available to Ireland under the Direct Payment Regulation for the period 2014 to 2019 is €6,062,920,000.

Stocking Densities

 208. 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 average number of livestock units per hectare on land broken down into the following categories, respectively, land not eligible for the disadvantaged areas scheme; mountain type grazing for the disadvantaged areas scheme; more severely handicapped land for the disadvantaged areas scheme and less severely handicapped lowland and coastal areas for the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54743/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As the definitive position in relation to stocking density under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas scheme is not as yet finalised, I have provided data based on the 2012 calendar year. The following is the breakdown of holdings under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and the average stocking density calculated under each of the different land categories:

Land Category Number of holdingsAverage SD rate
Mountain23,3970.64
More Severe50,1621.22
Less Severe18,7461.59
Multiple Groups13,2391.19
Total105,5441.15


  The equivalent figures for non Disadvantaged Areas land are not currently available.

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

 209. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the names and amount by which each programme manager or special adviser in his Department has exceeded the relevant pay guidelines, as laid down; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54744/13]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In response to the Deputy’s question, I have outlined in the table details of the salary paid to the Special Adviser employed in my Department. This salary which was approved by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, is marginally higher than the pay guidelines for such a position but is based on the substantially higher salary which he was earning in the private sector prior to his appointment as Special Adviser.

NameTitleSalary
Ross MacMathuna Special Adviser to Minister Coveney€103,200


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