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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 268-280
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies
 Header Item Basic Payment Scheme Data
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy
 Header Item Bovine Disease Controls
 Header Item Aquaculture Licence Appeals
 Header Item Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Energy Schemes
 Header Item Broadband Service Provision

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 981 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 66 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 268-280

Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies

 268. 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 average support by hectare under pillar 1 direct payments by county based on the latest available data; the euro per farm holding in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15791/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table.

County Average Payment Per Hectare Average Payment Per Holding
CARLOW €310.83 €13,707.36
CAVAN €252.59 €7,266.68
CLARE €238.55 €7,831.42
CORK €288.13 €11,882.68
DONEGAL €204.95 €6,921.69
DUBLIN €244.58 €14,174.12
GALWAY €235.95 €7,147.35
KERRY €208.01 €8,740.97
KILDARE €275.04 €14,245.39
KILKENNY €308.51 €14,459.14
LAOIS €306.93 €12,498.56
LEITRIM €202.94 €6,111.74
LIMERICK €255.45 €9,772.97
LONGFORD €265.38 €7,981.53
LOUTH €292.09 €12,166.70
MAYO €210.11 €6,335.30
MEATH €291.81 €13,325.94
MONAGHAN €280.44 €6,868.08
OFFALY €283.50 €11,213.90
ROSCOMMON €250.64 €7,148.48
SLIGO €211.63 €6,413.24
TIPPERARY €291.07 €13,312.76
WATERFORD €289.10 €15,137.68
WESTMEATH €267.84 €10,552.81
WEXFORD €307.21 €13,798.22
WICKLOW €249.74 €13,188.16

Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies

 269. 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 national average payment in terms of euros per hectare for the basic payment and greening schemes in each year to date of the 2014 to 2020 CAP in tabular form. [15792/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The information requested is set out in the following tables. The average payment for each year was calculated

  by dividing the total monies paid by the number of hectares declared for all paid applicants. 

  The average payment details for 2015 - 2018 include amounts under the greening scheme which started in 2015. 

Year Average Payment per Hectare
2014 €250
   
Year Average Payment per Hectare (which includes Greening payment)
2015 €261
2016 €259
2017 €257
2018 €254

Basic Payment Scheme Data

 270. 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 number of recipients of the 2018 basic payment scheme with payment entitlements with an initial unit value less than 90% of the scheme national average by county; and the number in each county that have to date reached 60% or above of the scheme national average based on latest data. [15793/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the table. 

County Number of Farmers with Payment Entitlements with a 2015 Initial Unit Value less than 90% of the Basic Payment Scheme National Average by County Number of Farmers that have Payment Entitlements greater than or equal to 60% of the Basic Payment Scheme National Average based on 2018 Payment Entitlement Values by County
CARLOW 432 311
CAVAN 2,302 1,358
CLARE 3,384 2,351
CORK 4,545 2,903
DONEGAL 6,184 2,550
DUBLIN 284 169
GALWAY 6,171 3,261
KERRY 4,856 2,570
KILDARE 769 462
KILKENNY 930 648
LAOIS 861 569
LEITRIM 2,684 1,584
LIMERICK 2,446 1,578
LONGFORD 1,036 704
LOUTH 537 342
MAYO 7,154 3,753
MEATH 1,313 807
MONAGHAN 1,553 984
OFFALY 1,313 799
ROSCOMMON 2,993 2,038
SLIGO 2,578 1,591
TIPPERARY 2,285 1,557
WATERFORD 766 500
WESTMEATH 1,336 837
WEXFORD 1,004 681
WICKLOW 938 576
TOTAL 60,654 35,483

Common Agricultural Policy

 271. 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 an analysis has been carried out to date in terms of a higher payment per hectare for small and medium-sized farmers per the complementary redistributive income support, Article 26; the potential impact on applicants since the European Commission published CAP regulation COM 2018 392 final on 1 June 2018; and if not, the reason therefor.  [15794/19]

 272. 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 an analysis has been carried out to date in terms of a higher payment per hectare for young farmers who have newly set up under the complementary redistributive income support, Article 26; the potential impact on applicants since the European Commission published CAP regulation COM 2018 392 final on 1 June 2018; and if not, the reason therefor.  [15795/19]

 273. 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 an analysis has been carried out to date on the operability and impact on applicants in terms of introducing a voluntary scheme for the climate and the environment eco-schemes per Article 28 of CAP regulation COM 2018 392 final since published by the European Commission on 1 June 2018; and if not, the reason therefor.  [15796/19]

 274. 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 an analysis has been carried out to date comparing the operability and the potential impact on applicants of a payments structure based on either the amount of support per hectare, Article 18, or continuation of payment entitlements, article 19, as provided under the mandatory basic income support for sustainability as outlined by the European Commission in the proposed regulation COM 2018 392 final published on 1 June 2018.  [15797/19]

 275. 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 an analysis has been carried out including the impact on applicants to date with respect to the value of payment entitlements and convergence in which all payment entitlements must have a value of at least 75% of the average planned unit amount for the basic income support for claim year 2026 as proposed under Article 20 of European Commission published CAP regulation COM 2018 392 final published on 1 June 2018; if not, the reason therefor; and if analysis has been carried out to date on convergence of entitlements above 75% of the average planned unit amount.  [15798/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed I propose to take Questions Nos. 271 to 275, inclusive, together.

The draft legislative proposals for the CAP post-2020 were launched by Commissioner Hogan on 1 June 2018.  The proposals, as drafted, involve significant changes, including in relation to governance, the distribution of direct payments among farmers and the increasing environmental conditionality attaching to such payments. There will be some additional discretion for Member States in configuring the measures available, within parameters laid down in Council Regulations.  

The proposals outline significant changes to the direct payments system including:-

- Replacing the current Basic Payment Scheme with the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) payment;

- The capping of direct payments – this involves a graduated reduction of payments over €60,000 per annum.  A 100% reduction is to be applied to the amount of the payment exceeding €100,000, at least 75% to payments between €90,000 and €100,000, at least 50% to payments between €75,000 and €90,000, and at least 25% to payments between €60,000 and €75,000.  Member States will be required to subtract the salaries of the farmer including taxes and social contributions, before applying capping.  The cost of regular and unpaid labour should also be taken into account. 

- The Complementary Redistribution of Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS) - the funding released from capping is to be used for the mandatory redistributive income support i.e. moving support from large to small/medium farms.  This is a mandatory requirement for Member States.  Redistribution is not limited to the funding released by capping and it will be up to the Member State to set out what funding it intends to use and to who the additional funds will be made available. 

- A complementary income support for Young Farmers (CISYF) which can be funded through surplus funds from capping.  The CISYF is a top-up scheme for young farmers and is optional for Member States.  However, in overall terms, at least 2% of all funding must be spent on young farmers either by the top-up mechanism or through a lump sum of up to €100,000.

- The introduction of Eco-schemes for the environment under Pillar I.  This is a new requirement under the CAP legislative proposals.  Member States are obliged to offer at least one eco- scheme, which would be optional for farmers.  The eco-scheme can be applied for on an annual basis.  Member States must draft a list of practices that are beneficial for agriculture and the environment.  Payments are only provided in cases where the beneficiary goes beyond certain conditions and requirements.

- Continued convergence, where beneficiaries of direct payments must receive 75% of the average planned unit amount by 2026.

- Optional lump sum for small farmers.

- Coupled support continues and is available for more sectors including non-food fuel replacement.  The available funding proposed for coupled support is reduced to 10% or 12% if this includes protein crops.

My Department is a strong proponent of evidence-based policy making, and I can confirm that work is currently underway to analyse the impact of the various elements of direct payments in the draft regulations. Preliminary modelling exercises have been carried out and the results of these analyses are currently being reviewed and revised to take account of the most recently available data.

These direct payment measures (BISS, CRISS, CISYF and Eco-Schemes) are inextricably linked to each other. This means that each time one of the elements is changed, each of the other elements also must change. As a result, any analysis only remains current until one of the elements changes. This is likely to continue until the regulations are fully developed, at which time detailed analyses will be completed to fully address the impact on farmers in Ireland of CAP 2020. This methodology is congruent with the requirement for each Member State to prepare a Strategic Plan addressing all aspects of CAP expenditure and, consequently, all of these analyses remain at a drafting stage until the Regulations are resolved.

Bovine Disease Controls

 276. Deputy Paul Kehoe Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 27 March 2019, if there are circumstances by which the commence after date can be deferred for a short period (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15941/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The herd owner in question has a high risk herd and is due to complete a post-derestriction check test scheduled on 7th April 2019. They are free to trade until that date but, on that date, they are trade restricted until they complete a clear TB test. This is consistent with existing TB Eradication policy.

High Risk herds have to undergo 3 herd tests post-derestriction.  The first test may take place at a time of the farmer’s choosing between 3 - 8 months after derestriction.  Herds are trade restricted when the scheduled date of the post-de-restriction test is reached (3 months), i.e. they may acquire cattle but may not dispatch cattle (other than calves under 6 weeks of age) except directly to slaughter from that date. After the post-derestriction test is completed, if clear, the herd must complete 2 more tests at 6 monthly intervals.

The scientific justification for selecting these herds for enhanced treatment resides in the fact that the herd incidence, on the post-derestriction test is approx. four times greater for these herds than that for the Round test.  In addition, the number of reactors per thousand animals tested (the APT) for these herds is almost 3 times greater than that for the Round test.

Department officials have met with the herd owner regarding the current situation with the herd. 

Aquaculture Licence Appeals

 277. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed the reason the appeals process for aquaculture licences is taking so long; the expected timeframe for decisions on applications; and if the decisions will be expedited (details supplied). [15981/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed The Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) is an independent body established by statute for the purpose of considering appeals of Ministerial decisions in respect of aquaculture.

  The matters referred to by the Deputy are operational matters for ALAB and my Department has no function in that regard. The Deputy’s question will therefore be referred to ALAB for attention and response directly to the Deputy.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Appeals

 278. Deputy Paul Kehoe Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed if a briefing request for a person (details supplied) will be accommodated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16026/19]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed As part of the implementation of the redesignation of eligible lands for the 2019 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, my Department has put in place a comprehensive communications strategy with farmers and other stakeholders. As part of this process, officials from my Department have recently met with Wexford representatives from the Irish Farmers Association to address their queries in relation to the independent appeals process which I have put in place.

Farmers who wish to appeal the eligibility status of a particular townland can, in the first instance, lodge an Appeal Notification Form to the Department. My Department will then write to the appellant setting out the relevant information in relation to the townland in question so that a full appeal can be made on full information. The April 8th deadline refers to the submission of the initial notification form.

Energy Schemes

 279. Deputy Pat Casey Information on Pat Casey Zoom on Pat Casey asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans for grant funding to be provided to home dwellers to insulate their houses using Irish wool (details supplied) in view of the number of houses here that have poor BER ratings; the similar initiatives that could help to revive the prospects of the sheep and wool sector here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15693/19]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department funds a number of home energy efficiency schemes which are administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. These schemes aim to improve the energy efficiency of our homes, while also improving the comfort of the home and helping homeowners to save on their energy bills. Grants are available towards the cost of both attic and wall insulation. Homeowners must apply for a grant, either online or by post, and following receipt of grant approval use an SEAI registered contractor to carry out works in their home. Contractors installing insulation under any scheme supported by an SEAI grant must carry out the works in line with the SEAI’s Domestic Technical Standards and Specifications. This document states under 6.4: “Materials to be used in the insulation of an attic at ceiling level must be manufactured to a relevant Irish, British or European Standard. Where novel insulating materials (e.g. Sheepswool, Hemp, Cellulosic Fibre) are being used, proof of quality control in product manufacture must be demonstrated in the Declaration of Works.”

  Further details, including information on targeted U-values, are available at https://www.seai.ie/resources/publications/Domestic-Technical-Standards-and-Specifications.pdf

Broadband Service Provision

 280. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if it is planned to extend high-speed fibre broadband to a household (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15681/19]

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The premises referred to by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP. This intervention is the subject of an ongoing procurement process. The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. I intend to bring a recommendation to Government in the coming weeks.

For those premises currently awaiting access to high speed broadband, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through Local Authority Broadband Officers is continuing. These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities. The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements.


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