Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (113, 114)

Billy Timmins

Question:

242 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the position of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2705/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The person named included a number of forage parcels on his 2002 area aid application on which a number of overclaims were determined. In one of these land parcels, the overclaim represented 6.02 hectares of forestry. This particular claim came to light as a result of a cross-compliance check with the forest service, carried out in 2003. An overall overclaim of 14.17% was established. Under EU rules, where an applicant makes an overclaim of between 3% and 20%, a penalty of double the difference must be applied in determining the area eligible for payment purposes. Therefore, after application of the penalty, an area of 25.09 hectares was determined for his 2002 area aid. My Department will be in further correspondence with the person named concerning the recovery of any overpayments made to him.

The 2003 area aid application of the person named was fully processed with an area determined for payment purposes of 34.91 hectares. The person named was paid €3095.06 on 21 January 2004 under the 2003 area-based compensatory allowance scheme based on an area of 25.99 hectares. He was paid €951.80 in respect of 9.37 hectares of mountain type land at €101.58 per hectare and €1477.19 in respect of 16.62 hectares of more severely handicapped land at €88.88 per hectare, and an additional sum of €666.07 under a compensation package agreed with the European Commission for farmers experiencing losses under the area-based compensatory allowance scheme.

The person named applied for premium on 11 animals under the 2003 suckler cow premium scheme. According to the terms and conditions of the scheme, a producer may be paid premium on up to 1.8 reckonable livestock units only per hectare of the forage area of his or her holding, as established from the producer's 2003 area aid application and any cattle submitted for 2003 suckler cow premium and special beef premium over and above that 1.8 reckonable livestock units limit shall not be paid such premium. The livestock units are calculated taking into account male cattle on which the producer applies for special beef premium, ewes submitted for 2003 ewe premium, notional dairy cows needed to produce any milk quota held and suckler cows or heifers in the herd for which suckler cow premium has been requested.

At the time of payment of the 80% advance instalment, the area aid record for the person named showed 25.99 hectares of forage area, which would allow payment on a maximum of 46.78 livestock units. Payment amounting to €1933.06 issued on 21 January 2004 in respect of 10.78 suckler cows as entitlement had already been established for 36 livestock units under the ewe premium scheme. This person's applications will be examined again taking account of the increase to 34.91 hectares of his forage area.

Pat Breen

Question:

243 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Clare has not received their forestry payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2722/04]

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Payment of the 2004 forestry premium will begin from the end of March, as has been the position over recent years.