Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Questions (75, 76, 77, 78, 79)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

97 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the rate REP scheme 3 payment will be for farmers whose anniversary of year four falls due on 1 October 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20162/09]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)

Given the pressures on the public finances and the level of up-take of REPS 4, I decided that it was necessary to reverse the 17% increase in REPS 4 payments and this reduction applies to REPS 4 payments in respect of 2009.

The closing date for REPS applications for 2009 has now passed. When the number of applications has been determined, I will be in a position to assess what level of financial commitment is involved and in this context it may be necessary to review the payment level for REPS 3 participants. I will also be initiating a review of the scheme in the context of the overall level of participation, the funding which is likely to be available to me and the flexibility provided by the additional funding which I negotiated in the recent CAP "Health Check".

Andrew Doyle

Question:

98 Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the action being taken to determine the additional cost to the farmer due to his deferral of approved farm waste management grant payments under the 40/20/20 scheme recently announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20230/09]

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The arrangements for payment of grants under the Farm Waste Management Scheme on a phased basis have been confirmed with 40% being paid this year as claims are approved. A further 40% will be paid in early January 2010 and the remaining 20% in January 2011. I have also announced that a special ex-gratia payment not exceeding 3.5% of the value of the deferred amount will be made to farmers whose Farm Waste Management grants have been partially deferred. This payment will be made in January 2011 along with the final instalment and I am satisfied that these arrangements are the best that can be achieved in the present economic circumstances.

However, the financial arrangements in respect of any loans taken out by farmers for the purposes of carrying out investments under the Farm Waste Management Scheme are entirely a matter between the individual farmers and financial institutions concerned.

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

99 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the number of farmers still awaiting payment under REP scheme four; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20170/09]

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By 31 December 2008, my Department had received 12,146 applications for REPS 4. Payment of the first instalment of 75% of the amounts due has issued in 10,021 cases and a further 340 have now been approved for payment. Payments will issue shortly to these applicants. Some 355 applications contained major deficiencies and have been determined to be ineligible. These applicants had until 15 May to resubmit corrected applications in order to be eligible for payment in 2009. The remaining applications are at an advanced stage of processing.

The applications submitted before the deadline for the 2009 scheme of 15 May are being examined and will be processed in due course.

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

100 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will provide the figures or an estimate of the reduction there will be in REP scheme three payment arising from his announcement following the supplementary budget of 7 April 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20171/09]

View answer

Given the pressures on the public finances and the level of up-take of REPS 4, I decided that it was necessary to reverse the 17% increase in REPS 4 payments and this reduction applies to REPS 4 payments in respect of 2009.

The closing date for REPS applications for 2009 has now passed. When the number of applications has been determined, I will be in a position to assess what level of financial commitment is involved and in this context it may be necessary to review the payment level for REPS 3 participants.

I will also be initiating a review of the scheme in the context of the overall level of participation, the funding which is likely to be available to me and the flexibility provided by the additional funding which I negotiated in the recent CAP "Health Check".

Joe Costello

Question:

101 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when will REP scheme four due in 2007-2008 be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20166/09]

View answer

By 31 December 2008, my Department had received 12,146 applications for REPS 4. Payment of the first instalment of 75% of the amounts due has issued in 10,021 cases and a further 340 have now been approved for payment. Payments will issue shortly to these applicants. Some 355 applications contained major deficiencies and have been determined to be ineligible. These applicants had until 15 May to re-submit corrected applications in order to be eligible for payment in 2009. The remaining applications are at an advanced stage of processing.

Question No. 102 answered with Question No. 88.
Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 74.