Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (289)

Dan Neville

Question:

289. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 474 of 2 October 2012, the position regarding a reduction (details supplied). [49343/12]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The REPS 4 agri-environment plan commenced on 1st June 2008 and the person named received full payments for the first three years of the contract.

Following an inspection in August 2011, the applicant was deemed to be in joint management and joint ownership with another REPS 4 participant. A review of this case was conducted by my officials and it was decided to allow both to retain separate herd numbers, with the REPS payments under one of the herd numbers deemed an overpayment. Accordingly, a letter issued on 7th September 2012 indicating the total amount of the overpayment to be recouped was €23,562.84 with interest to be charged at the rate of 3% per annum in accordance with EU regulations. An arrangement to recover the amount due on a four year instalment basis of €491.13 per month was notified to the person named and officials in my Department undertook to contact the person named regarding the overpayment situation.

Officials in my Department are currently reviewing the file of the person named following the receipt of an amended REPS plan. Once this examination is completed, a final decision will be notified to the person named clarifying the amount of the overpayment which must be repaid to my Department.

At that stage, officials in my Department will enter into negotiations with the parties concerned regarding the repayment of the debt including the offsetting of other scheme payments against the amount owed.