Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

341 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will qualify for a grant under the emergency fodder scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1423/99]

In order to quality under the 1998 winter fodder scheme a producer had to have a herd number in one of the designated DEDs and (a) have lodged an application under the 1998 suckler cow premium scheme and have a suckler cow quota, or (b) have mountain grazing on the 1997 area aid application and have an application submitted under the 1998 sheep headage scheme, or (c) have a permanent milk quota of 35,000 gallons or less on 1 April 1998.

Since the person named, although having a herd number in a designated DED, did not lodge any applications and did not have a milk quota, he did not qualify for aid under the winter fodder package for 1998.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

342 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry did not receive a full payment under the winter fodder aid scheme. [1424/99]

The person named was paid her full entitlement of £145.17 under the winter fodder scheme 1998. In accordance with the scheme criteria the payment was calculated on the basis of 3p per gallon in respect of the permanent milk quota of 4,839 gallons held by the person named on 1 April 1998. Quota held under temporary leasing cannot be included in the calculations.

No suckler cow premium or sheep headage applications were received from the person named in 1998 and, consequently, no further entitlement is due under the winter fodder scheme.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

343 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a headage grant payment will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1425/99]

There is an overclaim on one parcel of land which was included on the area aid application for the person concerned. Correspondence and maps are issuing to the person concerned to ascertain if this position is correct and to make any amendments necessary.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

344 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of outstanding payments being held up as a result of area aid problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1426/99]

Over 891,000 payments valued at some £546 million have issued to farmers under the various 1998 headage and premium schemes. This compares most favourably to the position at this time last year when £507 million had been paid under the 1997 schemes.

Overall the payment position in respect of the main 1998 headage and premium schemes is as follows:

Scheme

% Paid

Cattle headage/beef cow

94

Sheep headage

90

Ewe premium

98

Special beef premiumJan-Oct. applications

95

Suckler cow premium

94

Slaughter premium

99

Arable aid

99

Since payments do not conclude at the end of the calendar year, it is not possible at this stage to provide a reasonable estimate of the number or amounts yet to be paid. For example, under the suckler cow premium scheme and special beef premium scheme the EU regulations provide for advance payments in the year of application with balancing payments being made in the following year. Advance payments to applicants in respect of November and December 1998 applications under the special beef premium scheme cannot commence until the two month retention period expires, that is, in February and March respectively. Another consideration which must be taken into account when estimating expenditure is that Ireland has exceeded its national quota under the 1998 special beef premium scheme and it is not possible to determine the rate of balancing payments until all applications received under the 1998 ten month scheme are examined and processed. Further, payments to applicants under the October 1998 suckler cow premium scheme cannot commence until such time as the six month retention period expires in April 1999.
It should be noted that not all applications received will ultimately qualify for payment. Some 1,066 applicants under the May 1998 suckler cow premium scheme do not hold suckler cow quota and are therefore not entitled to payment. Almost 1,800 cattle headage applicants and over 1,600 suckler cow applicants are not yet cleared for payment at local office level. Under the 1998 special beef premium scheme, over 5,800 January to October applications are under query. All of these farmers have been written to at least once. In other cases, payments have been withheld because of application of penalties or because there is a problem with the area aid application.
Every effort is being made to have outstanding queries resolved with a view to having all eligible applicants paid their entitlements without delay. The EU deadline for making payment under the 1998 schemes is 30 June 1999.

Willie Penrose

Question:

345 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason 1998 suckler cow premia were not paid to a person (details supplied) in County Longford; if they will be paid immediately; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1430/99]

Application was made by the person named under the suckler cow premium scheme in respect of 34 animals on 29 May 1998. On this application the person named quoted a second herd number with which she was associated. A milk quota of 59,000 gallons is associated with the second herd number. Before payment can be considered a report will be required to show that both holdings are operated independently of each other.

I have asked the relevant local office to examine the matter with a view to making a final decision on the application as a matter of urgency.

Gerry Reynolds

Question:

346 Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim will receive 1998 headage grant payments. [1442/99]

There are three land parcels on this application which were also claimed by another applicant. Correspondence and maps are issuing to the person concerned and the other applicant to ascertain the correct position.

John McGuinness

Question:

347 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason for the delay in payment of area aid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if all maps and information have been received by his Department; and when full payment will be made in this regard. [1444/99]

A query arose regarding a missing map for one plot listed on the area aid application of the person named. This map has been requested from the herdowner and his application will be processed upon receipt of same.

Liam Aylward

Question:

348 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position in relation to an area aid application by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who is awaiting payment on the balance of his application; and the reason a reduced amount was paid on his beef cow headage. [1446/99]

The 1998 area aid application of the person named has now been finalised and balancing payments under the 1998 beef cow headage scheme and the 1998 suckler cow premium scheme will issue shortly.