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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 280 - 297
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Scéim Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste
 Header Item Scéim Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Payments
 Header Item GLAS Administration
 Header Item GLAS Data
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Data

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 855 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 280 - 297

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 280. 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 maps in respect of a person (details supplied) will be digitised; when payment will be made under the single farm payment scheme to this person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39993/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas scheme application on 11 May 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these 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 are now being finalised with the intention of issuing any payment due shortly. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Eligibility

 281. 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 a disadvantaged areas payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if it will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39996/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme began issuing, on target, on 24 September. Payment has not yet issued to the person named as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment issuing to the person named at the earliest possible date thereafter, provided all other Scheme requirements have been satisfied.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 282. 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 payment of a disadvantaged areas payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [39999/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas scheme application on 11 May 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these 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 are now being finalised with the intention of issuing any payment due as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Single Payment Scheme Appeals

 283. 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 an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40002/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney A review of the lands declared by the person named under the Single Payment Scheme in 2013 revealed that a number of land parcels declared contained ineligible features. In order to clarify the position regarding the area of any ineligible features my Department has decided to arrange for a ground verification check to be undertaken. This verification check has been not yet completed. The person named will be notified of the outcome upon completion and, if successful, any monies owing will be processed for payment as soon as possible. In the event that the person named is dissatisfied with the outcome of this verification check, the decision can be appealed to the independent LPIS Appeals Committee.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 284. 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 an area aid payment will be made in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40032/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas’ scheme application on 14 May 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these 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 are now being finalised with the intention of issuing any payment due shortly. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 285. Deputy Michael Creed Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed 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 Cork has not yet been paid their 2014 disadvantaged areas payment; and the circumstances giving rise to a reduction in all single farm payments in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40062/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas scheme application on 17 April 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases Remote Sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection is currently being finalised with the intention of issuing any payments due as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 286. 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 when payment under the 2014 disadvantage areas scheme will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in issuing this payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40066/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payments under the 2014 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme began issuing, on target, on 24 September. Payment has not yet issued to the person named as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum and Agri Environment stocking density requirements. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment issuing to the person named at the earliest possible date thereafter, provided all other Scheme requirements have been satisfied.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 287. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley 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 Clare was penalised on the disadvantaged areas scheme 2013 when they claimed for an area of 56.89 hectares which they confirm is far in excess of the maximum payable area for disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40087/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Disadvantaged Areas Scheme provides for payment at crop group level. Crop groups are classified as an area that benefits from the same rate of aid under the Scheme. This means that the area declared as Mountain Type Grazing, More Severely Handicapped and Less Severely Handicapped Coastal Areas with Specific Handicaps, are classified as separate crop groups. Payments are made in order of first to Mountain Type Grazing, second to More Severely Handicapped Lowland and third to Less Severely Handicapped Lowland and Coastal Areas with Specific Handicaps, so as to maximise the amount payable under the scheme. Under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, the person named declared lands in both the Mountain Type Grazing and More Severely Handicapped crop groups. Following a review of the land parcels declared by the person named, a number of ineligible features were identified in the Mountain Type Grazing crop group with the determined area reduced accordingly.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 288. 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 single farm payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40089/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Processing of the Single Farm payment application of the person named has recently been finalised, with payment due to issue shortly, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Scéim Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

 289. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén fáth go bhfuiltear a rá go ndearnadh ró-íocaíocht faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste do 2013 le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí leis seo); cad iad sonraí na ró-íocaíochta atá i gceist; an féidir lena Roinn sonraí agus mapaí a bhaineann leis an ró-íocaíocht seo a chur chuig an bhfeirmeoir seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [40102/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Léirigh athbhreithniú ar na gabháltais talún a dhearbhaigh an duine ainmnithe faoi Scéim na hAoníocaíochta 2013 go raibh gnéithe neamh-incháilithe ag baint le ceann de na gabháltais talún a dhearbhaigh an duine ainmnithe. Cé gur cuireadh an cinneadh sin agus an ceart maidir le hachomharc a dhéanamh in iúl don duine ainmnithe, níl aon achomharc faighte go dtí seo. Is féidir leis an duine ainmnithe fós achomharc a dhéanamh, más mian leis.

Scéim Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

 290. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén fáth go bhfuiltear a rá go ndearnadh ró-íocaíocht faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste do 2013 le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí leis seo); cad iad sonraí na ró-íocaíochta atá i gceist; an féidir lena Roinn sonraí agus mapaí a bhaineann leis an ró-íocaíocht seo a chur chuig an bhfeirmeoir seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [40103/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Léirigh athbhreithniú ar na gabháltais talún a dhearbhaigh an duine ainmnithe faoi Scéim na hAoníocaíochta 2013 go raibh gnéithe neamh-incháilithe ag baint le ceann de na gabháltais talún a dhearbhaigh an duine ainmnithe. Cé gur cuireadh an cinneadh sin agus an ceart maidir le hachomharc a dhéanamh in iúl don duine ainmnithe, níl aon achomharc faighte go dtí seo. Is féidir leis an duine ainmnithe fós achomharc a dhéanamh, más mian leis.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 291. 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 when payment under the disadvantaged areas scheme 2014 will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the reason for the delay in issuing this payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40136/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas scheme application on 31 March 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases Remote Sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection is currently being finalised with the intention of issuing any payments due as soon as possible. In the event that any queries arise officials in my Department will be in contact with the person named.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 292. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring 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 payment of the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40198/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Processing of the Disadvantaged Areas application of the person named has recently been finalised, with payment due to issue shortly, directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 293. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of a single farm payment 2014 will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40201/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The 50% advance payment under the 2014 Single Payment Scheme commenced on 16 October 2014. Payment issued directly to the nominated bank account of the person named on 16 October 2014.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

 294. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when headage and single farm payments will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40241/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named submitted a 2014 Single Farm Payment/Disadvantaged Areas scheme application on 11 April 2014. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases Remote Sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue. The application of the person named was selected for a Remote Sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection has been completed. Processing of payments due will now be finalised and will issue shortly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

GLAS Administration

 295. 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 has received correspondence from a group (details supplied) dated the 14 October 2014; his views on the correspondence; his plans to meet with the group as requested; the details of the agreement made between the group and the commonage implementation committee with regards to the issue of collective agreement; his plans to make provision for commonage farmers to apply for GLAS individually; his plans to make provision for commonage management plans to be drawn up at the expense of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40268/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Ireland’s new Rural Development Programme is now being considered by the EU Commission. The launch of new schemes, including GLAS, is dependent on getting EU approval for the Rural Development Programme. I am aware of the correspondence mentioned by the Deputy and I appreciate that there remain many concerns amongst hill-farmers in respect of the new proposals for commonages under GLAS. My Department conducted an extensive consultation process on all aspects of the Rural Development Programme over a period of a year and half, including the proposals for commonages.  I have listened very carefully to the concerns expressed by hill-farmers and their representatives and have adapted these proposals significantly in the light of those concerns.

The original requirement was for 80% participation, but this was subsequently reduced to 50%, with further clarification provided that this would be calculated on the basis of the number of active farmers on the hill. What this means in practice is that in a situation where there are 20 shareholders on a commonage, of whom 16 have claims, and 10 of these have sheep, then the 50% requirement to set up a GLAS Plan would be just 5 shareholders - not 8, and not 10.  In practice, then, the 50% requirement is unlikely to be an obstacle, but where it still proves impossible to achieve the shareholders concerned who wish to join GLAS can still do so by bringing their case to the Implementation Committee.

On the question of the agreement reached between the group and the Commonage Implementation Committee, it was made very clear in the agreed wording that there could only be one plan for each commonage and that a minimum participation level of 50% would continue to apply. However, it was also made clear that farmers could indicate their interest in joining the scheme on an individual basis, applying directly to the adviser preparing the single plan, or routing that through their own adviser if preferred. This remains the case. I have also made it clear that where it is not possible to achieve the required 50% participation level on any commonage, no genuine applicant will be locked out of the scheme.

Over the past few weeks my Department held a series of information evenings for hill-farmers, where the new proposals have been explained in detail and where the farmers themselves have had the opportunity to express their concerns in person. In most cases, the farmers at these meetings have engaged very constructively and positively in the discussion and it has been a very useful process.  Once within the scheme, it is the farmers themselves who, in consultation with the commonage advisor, design their own plan, set the grazing levels and distribute any additional grazing requirement.  This puts the development of the plan in the hands of the farmers themselves and my Department has no role in drawing up or paying for the plan; the cost of the plan is built into the payment rate for the commonage which has been significantly increased for the new programme from €75 per hectare to €120 per hectare.

If people look carefully at what is actually proposed, they will see that this is a very flexible scheme which actually gives the shareholders a real say in how the hills are managed, in their own best interests and in the interests of the environment. Ongoing consultation is taking place with individual farmers, farming organisations and public representatives to address any outstanding reasonable concerns. The priority is to progress the launch of the scheme so that the benefits of these new arrangements, including the increased payments, can transfer to farmers as soon as possible.

GLAS Data

 296. 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 of moneys allocated under budget 2015 towards the GLAS scheme; the number of farmers who will be provided for under the GLAS scheme in 2015; the average payment per farmer under GLAS for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40277/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As I said in my contribution to the Budget debate, I am providing for up to 30,000 farmers to join GLAS next year, with an allocation of €20 million indicated for 2015. The maximum payment available per annum is €5,000. As this is a voluntary scheme, driven by the actions selected by the applicants themselves, it is not possible to say in advance whether all farmers will draw down the maximum amount. However, it should be clearly understood that payments in respect of 2015 will be in respect of a part-year only, with a maximum first instalment of 75% of whatever is due payable next year. This is the usual approach taken in the introduction of all new agri-environment schemes. However, I should also point out that all farmers joining GLAS in 2015 will go on to receive an additional five years of full payment from 2016 on. Any payments made for 2015 will be over-and-above what would usually be payable over the standard five year contract. It should be remembered that the launch of GLAS is dependent on Ireland getting EU approval for our new Rural Development Programme. The EU Commission is now considering Ireland’s draft Programme.

Agriculture Scheme Data

 297. 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 package of supports that will be available specifically to support island farmers; the amount of funds allocated in budget 2015 and in the rural development programme towards this objective; his views on top up payments to existing or new schemes for island farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40278/14]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In developing the final draft of the new Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which has been submitted to the EU Commission for approval, I was very conscious of the challenges facing farmers farming lands situated on the islands. In particular, I am fully aware of the additional costs incurred in farming island lands. Mindful of this, I have decided to target specific support for island farmers via a new top-up to be introduced under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme. This additional payment will commence in 2015 with the introduction of the ANC Scheme, which is currently known as the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. I am proposing the use of differential payment rates, however this is subject to clearance by the EU Commission. My Department is currently in the process of identifying and investigating all islands situated both offshore and inland on lakes and rivers, and determining the eligibility of each. Following initial analysis, it has been considered that islands connected to the mainland by permanent access route will not incur the same costs as farmers living and farming on the islands and therefore will not be eligible. These proposals have been submitted to the Commission earlier this week as part of the overall Rural Development Programme, with approval anticipated later this year.


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