Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Ivor Callely

Question:

102 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the amount of direct payments made to the top 20 farmers under the area aid and arable aid schemes. [22211/98]

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. I am arranging, however, to have the details sent to him within the next two weeks.

John Moloney

Question:

103 Mr. Moloney asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position regarding the 1997 area aid application for a person (details supplied) in County Laois. [22213/98]

The forage area declared on the 1997 area aid application form of the person named was 17.25 hectares. However an inspection revealed that the actual forage area of the holding to be 16.20 hectares. The discrepancy between the area declared and the area found resulted in penalties having to be applied which reduced the forage area to 14.10 hectares. In order to qualify for extensification premium a producer must have a stocking density of less than 1.4 livestock units per hectare.

Suckler cows are classified as one livestock unit each, male animals up to and including 24 months are classified as 0.6 livestock unit each and male animals over 24 months of age are classified as one livestock unit each. The stocking density of the holding of the person named was calculated as follows for 1997:

One animal payable under the suckler cow premium scheme

=

1.00 Lu

All animals applied for under the special beef premium scheme

31 × 0.6 Lus each

=

18.60 Lus

1 × 1.0 Lu

=

1.00 Lu.

Total

20.60 Lus

The calculation for the stocking density of the holding in question is therefore 20.60 livestock units divided by 14.10 hectares which equals 1.46 /hectare. Therefore he does not qualify for payment of extensification premium grants in 1997.

Ivan Yates

Question:

105 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when arable aid payments will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; the reason for the delay; and if payment will be expedited. [22215/98]

Payment of arable aid commenced on 16 October, 1998. The person named has asked that the payment of arable aid be made directly to a third party. While my Department is facilitating this request, it does require extra time. However, payment will issue as soon as possible.

Michael Creed

Question:

107 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has not received payment of 1998 sheep and cattle headage, suckler cow and 22 month beef premium grants. [22218/98]

The area aid application of the person concerned has been processed and any payments due will issue as soon as possible.

Jim Higgins

Question:

108 Mr. Higgins (Mayo) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason for the delay in a headage payment to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [22221/98]

The area aid application of the person named has been processed and any payment due will issue as soon as possible.

John McGuinness

Question:

109 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be re-examined in view of the fact that he received payment of BSE top-up under the 1995 and 1996 suckler cow premium schemes and had eligible animals for both years. [22227/98]

The position regarding payments made under the 1996 BSE compensation package to the person named has been reviewed. He was paid BSE top-up amounting to £515.20 in respect of 23 animals eligible under the 1995 suckler cow scheme. He had no eligible animals for payment under the 1996 suckler cow scheme. Article 2 of EU Regulation 1357/96 requires that money paid to farmers who had fewer eligible animals for payment under the 1996 suckler cow and 1996 special beef premium schemes must be refunded. Regrettably, I have no discretion to waive the EU Regulations requirement to repay money outstanding.