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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 410-417
 Header Item Immigrant Investor Programme
 Header Item Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes
 Header Item Agriculture Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Agriculture Schemes
 Header Item Legislative Process

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 998 No. 4
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 410-417

Immigrant Investor Programme

 410. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice Information on Michael Fitzmaurice Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the doubts his Department reportedly expressed to the immigrant investor programme evaluation committee over the strategic value of a development (details supplied) as reported in the media; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28024/20]

 411. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice Information on Michael Fitzmaurice Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the person or body that authorised communications (details supplied) to the Department of Justice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28025/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue I propose to take Questions Nos. 410 and 411 together.

In December 2019, in response to a request from the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE), my Department provided observations on an application under the Immigrant Investment Programme, as referenced by the Deputy.

My Department has a statutory responsibility to approve slaughter plants in accordance with the European Union (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020.  My Department has not yet received a full application in relation to the project referenced by the Deputy. Until such an application and plans are received, my Department is not in a position to fully assess the proposal.

With regard to any proposed additional processing facilities, I would urge those involved to engage with my Department's veterinary officials at an early stage in order to understand and address the requirements for approval to be registered with the Department and to operate as a meat establishment under EU and Irish law.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme

 412. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the number of ANC payments held up as a result of satellite inspections by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28027/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue My Department has arranged for advance ANC payments to be made in cases selected for satellite inspection but not yet completed, and where no other errors exist on the case (for example, outstanding dual claim queries).

Advance payments  for the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme commenced on schedule in mid-September, with payments issuing to 86,000 farmers in the first tranche.  This is a significant increase on the 79,000 payments issued in the first tranche in 2019.  As of 25 September, €187.2m has issued to over 87,000 farmers.

A total of 5,652 ANC eligible applications have been selected for a remote sensing inspection in 2020.  Of these, a total of 4,465 have received an ANC advance payment.  Of the remaining 1,187 cases, 971 have yet to meet their stocking density requirements which must be met in order for payment to issue and the balance have other errors which have yet to be resolved.

My Department is pressing ahead with  processing of clear cases on a daily basis to ensure that ANC advance payments issue as quickly as possible.

Agriculture Schemes

 413. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue if farmers can be notified after satellite inspections are carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28028/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue All applicants subject to a remote sensing/satellite inspection receive notification by letter of the outcome of the inspection.

Where an applicant has no area over-declaration identified at individual scheme level, they are notified of the inspection outcome by letter and can raise any queries on the outcome with my Department.

Where an applicant has an area over-declaration at individual scheme level they are notified of the initial inspection outcome and afforded the opportunity to submit comments on the findings, which will be examined by my Department in advance of the finalisation of the inspection. The applicant can, however, choose to accept the findings of the inspection at this initial stage and will then receive a notification of the final outcome based on this.

In the event that an applicant is dissatisfied with this final outcome of the inspection, they can still request a review of the final decision and will be notified of the outcome of the review by letter.

Agriculture Schemes

 414. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue the number of satellite inspections carried out up to 1 September 2020; and the way in which they compare with other years since 2015, in tabular form. [28029/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue The process associated with remote sensing/satellite inspections involves a number of stages including the selection of cases for inspection as part of the annual risk analysis process, the acquisition of imagery from the EU Commission at two stages during the year to provide a complete picture of land eligibility usage and taking account of the growing period for arable crops and a comprehensive review of the range of satellite imagery to ensure compliance with scheme requirements. In additon, where it is not possible to make an accurate determination on the eligibility of a parcel or parcels of land by means of an assessment of the imagery, a field visit must be undertaken to verify the position on the ground.

  Furthermore, the actual inspection process cannot commence until the application process (including the option for the submission of amendments and the preliminary checks process) has been completed.  It is only at this point that the final position on the lands being declared is known. 

  Given the various stages in the process, there can be variation year to year but invariably a significant amount of progress is made on these cases during September each year.  Accordingly, the following table details the position on the number of remote sensing inspections for which inspection results were received at 1st September and 30th September for each of the years 2015 to 2020.

Year Total No. of Remote Sensing Inspections No. of Remote Sensing Inspections with inspection results received @ 1st  September No. of Remote Sensing Inspections with inspection results received @ 30th September
2015 6,811 0 2,355
2016 6,219 0 3,016
2017 6,508 1,612 3,817
2018 6,845 1,002 3,722
2019 6,845 436 3,808
2020 6,483 685 3,536

Agriculture Scheme Appeals

 415. 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 Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding an appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28031/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue The person named submitted 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application on 14 May 2020.  An appeal was submitted by him in relation to the deduction of land on a commonage parcels and this is currently being reviewed.  A member of staff has contacted the person named and, following this discussion, it has been agreed that the Areas of Natural Constraint payment can issue on the currently determined area.  Following the completion of the review, any amendment required to the payment level can be processed at that stage.

Agriculture Schemes

 416. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue if a person (details supplied) is entitled to an allocation from the national reserve and young farmers scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28035/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue The person named submitted an application to my Department under the ‘new entrant to farming’ category of the 2020 National Reserve.  My Department is corresponding with the person named with regard to the necessary documentation required in support of his application.  Once the required supporting documentation has been submitted to my Department, the application can be finalised.

The Young Farmers Scheme is a separate scheme for farmers under 40 years of age which provides a payment for a maximum of 5 years on activated payment entitlements.  The person named did not submit an application to my Department under the Young Farmers Scheme.

Legislative Process

 417. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue if he will provide an index of the submissions made to his Department with respect to the Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28074/20]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Charlie McConalogue): Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue My Department received almost 9,000 submissions during the recent public consultation on the Bill to amend the Agriculture Appeals Act, which is now the Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2020.

  I am grateful to those who took the time to engage this Bill, which is hugely important in terms of increasing the efficiency of the forestry appeals system. All submissions were considered and we have published a report summarising the outcome of the process on my Department's website. The final Bill was updated with amendments which emanated from the consultation process.

  A list of the submissions received has been published on the following link on my Department's website:

  https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/publicconsultation/

  Individual submissions (the majority of which need to be redacted of personal information due to GDPR requirements) are also being uploaded to the website, but this will take time.  In the meantime, anyone interested in seeing a particular submission may request it  by quoting the reference number from the index and emailing ForestryBill2020@agriculture.gov.ie.


Last Updated: 20/01/2021 15:09:24 First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page