asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry the reason there is a considerable delay in having FEOGA grants paid to fishermen's accounts in Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - FEOGA Grant Payments
I understand that staffing problems within the relevant EEC Commission division in Brussels coupled with financial constraints due to the recent uncertainty surrounding the Common Agricultural Policy, led to a situation whereby delays were being experienced in payments of FEOGA grants to fishermen's accounts. However, many claims have now been paid and further payments are expected to follow shortly.
The Minister seems to be saying that the difficulty is one of finance in Europe. Does he expect this situation to continue and the fishermen to have to wait for long periods before receiving payment?
I do not think that. The position now is that the uncertainty in relation to financial constraints has been clarified. Time will tell whether this will improve matters to any appreciable extent but there has been some improvement. Two to three months elapse between the time of the admission of claims to the EEC Commission and the transfer of payments to the beneficiary's account. Once payment has been cleared and notification issued to that effect, the beneficiary's account is credited immediately with the amount of the grant. It is expected that matters will improve from now on.
Is the Minister aware whether these FEOGA grants must be paid to the beneficiary's account in BIM or whether they must be paid directly to BIM?
The normal practice is for grants to be paid into the beneficiary's account.