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Written Answers. - REP Scheme Review.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 204. Mr. Cowen Information on Brian Cowen Zoom on Brian Cowen  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates  whether he has completed a review of the REP scheme; if so, if he will publish the findings of the review; the sanctions, if any, he plans to impose in respect of any breaches of the regulations under this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9281/96]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates The REP scheme was launched in 1994 and since then the operations of the scheme have been the subject of ongoing review by my Department. I have established a consultative committee on REP which is chaired by my colleague, Deputy Deenihan, Minister of State, to provide feedback on the operation of the scheme and advise on possible improvements. Farming bodies, environmental groups, planning agencies and relevant Government Departments are represented on the committee.

The work of this committee is ongoing and as a result of its work and my Department's monitoring and controls, deficiencies have been noted in a number of areas. The main deficiencies [203] are in the preparation of plans by planning agencies and the non-compliance with the terms of the scheme by some farmers. The increased level of checking by my Department will ensure strict compliance with the scheme.

With regard to breaches of the Department's specifications, a range of penalties is being finalised at present involving reimbursement of between 10 per cent and 100 per cent of any aid paid. Furthermore, serious breaches may result in exclusion of the participant concerned from further participation in the scheme for such periods as may be determined.

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