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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 452-474
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Fishing Industry Development
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Rural Development Programme Projects
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Applications
 Header Item Aquaculture Licences
 Header Item Aquaculture Licences
 Header Item Aquaculture Licences
 Header Item Fishing Industry
 Header Item Aquaculture Licences
 Header Item Food Safety Standards Regulation
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Fish Quotas
 Header Item Protected Disclosures Data
 Header Item Services for People with Disabilities
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Appeals
 Header Item European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
 Header Item TAMS Applications
 Header Item Insurance Costs
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 944 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 84 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 452-474

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 452. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the educational criteria required to be eligible for participation in the 2017 national reserve. [14915/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In order to fulfil the agricultural educational requirements to qualify for the 2017 National Reserve, applicants must have successfully completed a recognised course in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 15th May 2017. 

Where an applicant has fully completed their course by 15th May but has not yet been verified as successful or received final certification, a letter from the college should be submitted with the National Reserve application.  Applications will not be further processed until the Department receives confirmation from the applicant that they have successfully passed all requirements to receive certification.

Decisions in relation to the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme, including educational qualifications, are made in consultation with the Direct Payments Advisory Committee which includes members of the main farming bodies and education and advisory services. Full Terms and Conditions of the 2017 National Reserve will be available shortly.

Fishing Industry Development

 453. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the annual breakdown of funding allocated under the fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure development programme to each fishery harbour centre and other fisheries-related marine infrastructure in each of the years from 2011 to 2016 and to date in 2017, in tabular form. [14917/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The information sought by the Deputy is contained in the two tables.

Table 1 – Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme Expenditure, 2011 – 2016

 201120122013201420152016
Castletownbere2,832,389855,504949,975371,651392,6161,309,342
Dingle695,093469,861840,369451,3522,141,7921,677,632
Dunmore East756,140548,567815,126728,4796,987,7382,286,579
Howth480,0041,409,5451,352,7811,018,0061,706,7191,381,693
Killybegs987,465526,548798,350527,8471,952,7352,507,700
Ros An Mhíl2,224,805438,787422,189325,085309,2352,050,976
Local Authority Projects1,776,9812,279,5433,643,2507,581,1463,606,1283,770,433
Cape Clear112,924164,894548,8913,014,5522,183,9431,087,410
Piers, Lights & Beacons25,14735,06521,96195,26521,02336,807
Total9,890,9486,728,3149,392,89214,113,38319,301,92916,108,572


  Table 2 – Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme Allocated Funding, 2017
-
Castletownbere7,240,000
Dingle4,575,000
Dunmore East1,177,000
Howth3,062,000
Killybegs6,653,000
Ros An Mhíl2,270,000
Local Authority Projects2,500,000
Cape Clear160,000
Piers, Lights & Beacons60,000
Total27,697,000

Fishing Industry

 454. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his views on a recent European Parliament fisheries committee draft report calling for the UK to adhere to EU rules after Brexit by making a North Sea fish stocks plan contingent on the Common Fisheries Policy. [14918/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed While Ireland does not have a direct interest in the North Sea, I am aware of the document referred to by the Deputy. This is preliminary examination by the European Parliament of a proposal by the Commission for a regulation establishing a multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea. Proposals such as this are subject to co-decision by the Council and the Parliament. Both institutions must each examine it separately before entering into negotiations together to try and reach agreement on a final text.

In that context, there is still some way to go before the proposed North Sea plan comes into being.

The document in question contains proposed amendments from the European Parliament that aim “to establish a firm working basis for future management with third countries pursuant to Article 33 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013”. I am advised that the suggested amendments to the North Sea Plan proposal are essentially superfluous as they merely reiterate what is already in EU legislation and are, consequently, unlikely to end up in the final text.

Whether or not the suggested amendments do succeed, it is important to point out that following the departure of the UK from the EU, they will be classified as a "third country" similar to Norway or the Faroe Islands. The suggested amendments are not specific to the UK and would not bind third countries to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy.

The UK could, of course, if it so chose, decide to retain the CFP in its own domestic legislation.

Ensuring that sustainable fishing is maintained by all parties following the UK's departure from the EU is of the utmost importance and I will work closely with all parties to achieve that objective.

In that context, I have recently held a series of meetings with key fisheries Ministers and am coordinating a like minded group of 8 Member States to ensure that fisheries remains a key priority in the negotiations to come. Protecting existing shares will be a top priority for that group. As both I and An Taoiseach have stated before, we intend to ensure that fisheries remains high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that Ireland obtains the best possible outcome from the negotiations.

Rural Development Programme Projects

 455. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his plans for the deployment of a rural development programme scheme to incentivise volunteering activities in rural areas following the recently launched European Solidarity Corps programme. [14919/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The European Solidarity Corps Programme was announced by the European Commission in September 2016 and officially launched in December 2016. There are currently no plans to introduce a new scheme under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 in relation to the European Solidarity Corps Programme.

Agriculture Schemes

 456. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if a formal application has been made to the European Commission for forgotten farmers as a group with specific disadvantage under the national reserve in the same way that old young farmers are currently provided for. [14920/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In line with the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government, Department officials consulted with the EU Commission with regard to funding of ‘specific disadvantage’ categories such as the group commonly referred to as ‘Forgotten Farmers’ under the National Reserve in 2017 and future years. Funding for the National Reserve in 2017 is derived from a linear cut to the value of farmers entitlements.

The Commission has confirmed that Member States cannot use the proceeds of a linear cut to fund the specific disadvantage category of the National Reserve.  The only funding option for this category is natural replenishment of the Reserve such as unused entitlements or the proceeds of claw back, but only after the two priority categories of young farmer and new entrant have been catered for.

The group commonly referred to as ‘Old Young Farmers’ was accommodated under the 2015 National Reserve on a once-off basis as a group suffering from specific disadvantage.  The 2015 National Reserve was funded based on a 3% cut to the Basic Payment Scheme financial ceiling and not a linear cut to farmers entitlements.

Agriculture Scheme Appeals

 457. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the status of a review of the case of a person (details supplied); if there is a timeframe for its completion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14930/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The Agriculture Appeals Office has confirmed that the person named sought a review of the Appeals Officers decision in October 2016. Under the Act only the Director may perform such reviews which must be undertaken in full compliance with the legal requirements and following a detailed assessment of the case to be reviewed. Currently there are a considerable number of requests for reviews being dealt with by the Director. Every effort is being made to finalise the review as a matter of urgency.

Agriculture Scheme Expenditure

 458. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the amount of the €150 million fund provided in budget 2017 enabling farmers to access low-cost loans that has been loaned to farmers; the number of persons who have applied for this facility, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14960/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The "Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme" was developed by my Department in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), making €150 million available to farmers at interest rates of 2.95%. One of my priorities has been to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some agriculture sectors. This Scheme is significant in this regard, providing farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital, which will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, ensuring the ongoing financial sustainability of viable farming enterprises.

SBCI uses the €25 million of public funding provided by my Department to leverage the total amount of €150 million and, along with the European Investment Fund’s ‘COSME’ (the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs), is providing the guarantee required to underpin the loan’s flexibility and lower the cost of the loans.

My Department’s contribution of €25 million includes €11 million from the EU’s ‘exceptional adjustment aid for milk and other livestock farmers’. It was this exceptional aid package which facilitated the Scheme from an EU State Aid perspective, and additional funding is not possible under this particular arrangement. Other sectors, such as tillage and horticulture, were facilitated by national funding under the ‘de minimis’ State Aid rules.

The Scheme is administered through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank and they will report on progress to the SBCI on a regular basis.  Although no official returns have been made to my Department as yet, information is due to be provided shortly and it will be made available as soon as possible. However all of the banks have confirmed that they have applications up to the amounts available under the Scheme. There may be some residual availability but this will only emerge as applications are processed and loans drawn down. 

I am pleased at the very positive reaction by farmers to the Scheme, which has proved that significant demand exists for low cost flexible finance. I hope that the commercial banks will respond positively to this demand by reducing interest rates and providing more flexible terms for cash flow loans in the future. I plan to meet with the Chief Executives of the banks shortly to discuss this and other issues relating access to finance in the agri-food sector.

Basic Payment Scheme Applications

 459. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if his attention has been drawn to issues regarding the submission of online basic payment scheme applications; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that details with regard to a person's approval for GLAS 3 are not showing up on their basic payment scheme online application form, meaning affected persons cannot complete their basic payment scheme applications; the steps he will take to address this issue; the reason this problem is occurring; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14964/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My Department is aware of the fact that, in a limited number of cases, details of individual GLAS applications are not yet visible when they log onto the Department's on-line BPS applications facility.

  Staff in my Department are aware of this issue and it is expected that it will be resolved shortly.

Aquaculture Licences

 460. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Question No. 688 of 7 March 2017, if the objective bias in his Department's aquaculture licensing system, in view of his Department's failure to maintain an appropriate separation between the regulatory function and the industry development function, has rendered all licences issued under this system invalid.  [15001/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed All applications for aquaculture licences are considered by my Department under the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act and related legislation.

  There is always a strict separation between my Ministerial role as decision maker in respect of aquaculture licence applications and my Ministerial duty to promote the sustainable development of the industry. This separation of duties is strictly observed.

Aquaculture Licences

 461. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Question No. 687 of 7 March 2017, if he will initiate an investigation into the organic status of all salmon farms operated by a company (details supplied) in view of the number of sites operated by this company that are under investigation by his Department for possible overstocking.  [15002/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My Department is currently examining each of the sites of the company named with a view to determining whether the requirements of the organic regulations are met.

Aquaculture Licences

 462. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Question No. 689 of 7 March 2017, if, by failing to revoke the licence held by a company (details supplied) for a site for reasons not covered by the legislation, he has departed from the provisions of the relevant legislation and has thereby demonstrated the objective bias in his Department's licensing system.  [15003/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed As the Deputy is aware the decision not to revoke the aquaculture licence in question was taken in accordance with Section 68 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 and therefore there was no departure from the provisions of the applicable legislation.

Fishing Industry

 463. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Question No. 690 of 7 March 2017, if he will provide his Department's definition of a "salmon smolt".  [15004/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The Marine Institute advises my Department on scientific issues associated with the marine environment and defines a salmon smolt as a juvenile salmon which has undergone the physiological and physical changes necessary to survive at sea.

Aquaculture Licences

 464. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if, in view of his decision not to revoke the aquaculture licence held by a company (details supplied) on the grounds that a provable breach of the licensing conditions did not occur, he received legal advice on the provable nature of the breach; and, if so, the implications for other licences awarded by his Department. [15005/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My decision in the case referred to by the Deputy followed a detailed examination by my Department of the key issues involved and was in accordance with the provisions of Section 68 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997.

Food Safety Standards Regulation

 465. 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 Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if the dangers of spreading dog faeces on tillage fields was included in the 2008 report by the Food Safety Authority; his plans to investigate the potential health risks of spreading dog faeces on tillage fields with regard to dog breeding establishment owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15011/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The land-spreading of manures is controlled by the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014, as amended. The objective of the Regulations is to protect ground and surface waters, including drinking water sources, primarily through the management of livestock manures and other fertilisers. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government is the lead Department for these regulations.

The 2008 FSAI report provided a “scientific opinion on the food safety implications most likely to be associated with land-spreading organic agricultural, municipal and industrial materials on agricultural land used for food production in Ireland against the background of current practices”. Use of dog faeces from dog breeding establishments was not part of landspread practices at that time so was not considered in the report; and it is understood that any current usage is minimal. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has responsibility in conjunction with local authorities for the regulation of dog breeding establishments under the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010.

My Department works in close collaboration with the FSAI in the administration of EU and national regulatory requirements relating to food safety. Official controls on primary production of horticultural produce include an assessment of measures in place by the food business operator to control contamination arising from the soil including the hazards presented by faeces in organic waste. The Department’s  inspectors are cognisant  of the recommendations set out by the FSAI in their 2008 report on land-spreading and in their 2016 publication on Fresh Produce Safety. Furthermore, Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002, laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, requires food business operators to be able to identify any person from whom they have been supplied with any substance (including organic fertilisers/animal manure) intended to be, or expected to be, incorporated into a food and make this information available to the competent authority on demand. This traceability check on organic fertiliser inputs is conducted as part of my Department’s official controls.

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 466. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if assistance and advice can be provided to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15044/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The case involves a person who wishes to be considered for participation in the 2017 National Reserve but who will not have completed the required agricultural education course by the closing date for the scheme.

 Under the 2015 National Reserve an exception was made which allowed students to qualify under the scheme before completion of their agricultural course. However, this exception did not receive the approval of the EU Commission. Consequently, in order to qualify for the 2017 National Reserve successful applicants must have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 15th May 2017.

Decisions in relation to the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme, including educational qualifications, are made in consultation with the Direct Payments Advisory Committee which includes members of the main farming bodies and education and advisory services. Full Terms and Conditions of the 2017 National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme will be available shortly.

Fish Quotas

 467. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed his views on the queries raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15063/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed I received a request from the Irish South and West Fish Producer Organisation to allocate the increase over 2016 of Ireland’s mackerel quota for 2017 entirely to the Polyvalent Segment on a 1 year pilot basis in exchange for the recipient vessels forgoing demersal fishing in order to gauge the impact on the demersal vessels.

This matter has generated a lot of discussion in the industry and I have received many representations on the matter. Having carefully considered the matter, I decided that, without prejudice, there is a case for a review of the policy on allocations between the RSW Pelagic segment and the polyvalent segment of the fleet, taking account of request by the IS&WFO. In that regard, I decided that I am restricting consideration to the increased quota for Ireland in 2017 over that in 2016.

It is important to note that I have not made any decision at this time to change the allocations between the segments in respect of this part of the quota. All relevant issues will be carefully evaluated and subject to a full consultation with stakeholders before I decide if any amendment to the policy is justified for the proper and effective management of the mackerel fishery.

The public consultation process concluded on 28 February 2017 and 353 submissions were received. All submissions are currently being evaluated.

To support transparency in this process, it is intended that all views received on the Consultation Document and/or any clarification provided will be publicly made available on my Department’s website. Following the closure of the formal consultation process, any meeting that may be held with stakeholders will be open to all interested stakeholders that have engaged in the public consultation.

Protected Disclosures Data

 468. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the process within his Department for dealing with protected disclosures under the 2014 Act; if the examinations of such disclosures are carried out by an independent authority or persons other than those within the organisation to which the disclosure refers; the number of disclosures received by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15068/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My Department has a Protected Disclosures Policy in place under which a worker who wishes to make a protected disclosure may do so to any of the following confidential recipients:

  - an independent confidential service engaged for this purpose,

  - the Head of the Internal Audit Unit in the Department, or

  - any member of the Department’s Management Board

  Training was provided to my Department's nominated confidential recipients. In accordance with the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, a worker will not be penalised for making a protected disclosure, getting a disclosure wrong or being mistaken provided the worker had a reasonable belief that the information disclosed showed, or tended to show, wrongdoing.

  Contact details for all of the above confidential recipients as well as procedures for making a protected disclosure are contained in my Department's policy document. A copy of this policy document was circulated to all staff and is also on my Department's internal EZone.   

  To date there have been three protected disclosures under the Protected Disclosures Act. Each one has been or is in the process of being handled in accordance with the Department's policy and procedures.

Services for People with Disabilities

 469. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the efforts made by his Department to uphold the rights of a person (details supplied) to receive information in an accessible and understandable manner in view of the person's learning disability and the fact that the person is dyslexic; the efforts made to inform and assist the person relative to programmes implemented by his Department and funded by the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15089/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed My Department aims to ensure that the needs of all its customers, including people with disabilities are met and that the rights of equal treatment are upheld in the delivery of services.

In accordance with Section 26(2) of the Disability Act 2005, my Department has appointed two Access Officers who are responsible for providing or arranging for, and co-ordinating assistance and guidance to persons with disabilities accessing services provided by offices and generally to act as a point of contact for people wishing to access such services.

Officials from my Department have been in direct contact with the person named in relation to previous similar requests. Contact will be made again with the person named in the coming days.

Basic Payment Scheme Appeals

 470. Deputy Tony McLoughlin Information on Tony McLoughlin Zoom on Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if he will address an issue with regard to a review of a person's entitlements application which has been refused (details supplied); the way a reduction of over 700 ewes in the 1980s to almost zero in the 2000s does not in his Department's view represent an interruption of normal agricultural activity; if a review can be undertaken into this component of the person's appeal on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15102/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The person named submitted a Force Majeure application to my Department requesting a review of his entitlement allocation under the Basic Payment Scheme.

My Department examined the circumstances of this application and despite exploring all possible avenues the application was deemed to be unsuccessful as due to the timescale in which the force majeure circumstance occurred, it cannot be considered as impacting on the reference years of 2013 -2015 used for the purpose of calculating the number/value of entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme.

The person named was informed in writing of this decision and provided with the option to further appeal his case to the Agriculture Appeals Office.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

 471. Deputy Martin Kenny Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the number of Irish draw-downs under the seafood processing capital investment scheme; the number of persons who availed of the scheme in increments (details supplied) in 2014, 2015 and 2016, in tabular form; the total amount that could have been drawn down by Ireland in each of these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15124/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Ireland's €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and officially launched in January 2016.  A Seafood Processing Capital Investment Scheme features in the Programme and was launched in 2016.  Prior to 2016, a somewhat similar scheme operated under the EFF Seafood Development Programme 2007-2013.  Both schemes are implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and focus on incentivising private investment in seafood processing facilities to add value to fish raw material through increased processing and production of value added seafood products.  Food Wise 2025 aims to see the amount of fish sold in commodity form drop from 70% to below 50% through increased value added processing.

  The table sets out the details requested concerning the number of projects funded in each year 2014 to 2016.  It also presents the available budget, total grants awarded and total grants paid out in those years. Experience of this scheme has been that there is very high demand for the available funds and these are generally close to fully committed.  However, some approved projects do not draw down the funds awarded to them for a variety of business reasons. My Department and BIM continually seek to adjust the terms and conditions of the scheme to maximise take-up of funds awarded.

Seafood Processing Capital Investment Grants

Number of Projects

Year Budget availableGrants awardedGrants Drawn down<€5k€5-10k€10-20k€20-30k€30-50k€50-100k>€100k
2014€3.0m€2.64m€ 1.09m1103436
2015€3.0m€2.91m€ 1.80m1011563
2016€3.5m€3.46m€ 1.99m1231047
Source BIM

TAMS Applications

 472. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed when a decision will be made on an application under tranche 4 of the TAMS scheme for a person ( details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15149/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Approval issued to the applicant in question on 1 March 2017 in respect of sheep fencing investments under the Animal Welfare, Nutrient Storage and Safety Scheme of TAMS II.

Insurance Costs

 473. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the cost of insurance under different insurance headings, such as public liability, buildings cover, employer liability and so on, for his Department and each body under its aegis; the name of the insurance provider for each year since 2010 in tabular form; the number of current outstanding insurance claims against his Department or the body under its aegis; the estimated cost of those claims, if available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15173/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed Government Departments  do not have conventional insurance cover. Instead, Departments, including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)  operate under State indemnity, a self-insurance model whereby the State bears the financial risk associated with the costs of claims.

  The State Claims Agency (SCA), manages personal injury, property damage and  negligence claims brought against DAFM and deals with any claims against the Department.  

  There are only two exceptional  instances where DAFM has taken out insurance:

1. On the advice of the  Chief State Solicitors Office, DAFM took out insurance on a property it owned which was leased to a third party. The insurance cost is recouped from the third party pro-rata to the occupancy of the property.

2. In respect of  external contracted staff engaged for working on the National Forestry Inventory.  While this insurance was paid for a number of years by DAFM, it is now sourced and paid for by the contractors directly.

  Details of this insurance is set out in the table.

  DAFM State Bodies have been requested to provide this information directly to the Deputy.

Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine

2010

Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
792NilN/A


2011
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
835NilN/A
FBD Holdings PLCPublic Liability

(Multiperil)
1,275NilN/A


2012
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
FBD Holdings PLCPublic Liability

(Multiperil)
1,408
Nil
N/A
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
803
Nil
N/A


2013
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
FBD Holdings PLCPublic Liability

(Multiperil)
739NilN/A
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
827NilN/A


2014
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
807NilN/A


2015
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
832NilN/A


2016
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
870NilN/A


2017 to date
Name of CompanyType of insurance e.g.

Public liability

Building cover

Employer Liability
Cost per annum for each year

No of insurance claims outstandingEstimated cost of those claims
Hibernian Aviva HealthPublic Liability

Building Cover

Employer Liability
947NilN/A

Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

 474. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if students who sit examinations for educational courses that qualify young farmers for a green certificate before the end of 2017 will be eligible to apply to the 2017 national reserve and young farmers scheme before the upcoming May deadline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15247/17]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed In order to fulfil the agricultural educational requirements to qualify for the 2017 National Reserve applicants must have successfully completed a recognised course in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 15th May 2017.

Where an applicant has fully completed their course by 15th May but has not yet been verified as successful or received final certification, a letter from the college should be submitted with the National Reserve application.  Applications will not be further processed until the Department receives confirmation from the applicant that they have successfully passed all requirements to receive certification.

Under the 2015 National Reserve an exception was made which allowed students to qualify under the scheme before completion of their agricultural course. However, this exception did not receive the approval of the EU Commission. Consequently, in order to qualify for the 2017 National Reserve successful applicants must have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 15th May 2017.

Decisions in relation to the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme, including educational qualifications are made in consultation with the Direct Payments Advisory Committee which includes members of the main farming bodies and advisory services. Full Terms and Conditions of the 2017 National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme will be available shortly.


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