Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (546)

Pat Breen


546. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for a decision in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9535/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Single Payment Scheme is governed by the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1120/2009 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1122/2009.

During the validation of the land declared by the person named in the application for the purposes of payment, it was established by this Department there was an over-claim in respect the land in question. Notwithstanding that my Department had provided a pre-printed application form for the 2012 Scheme to the person named, showing the revised reference area available on this land parcel, the person named declared an area considerably higher than was available when lodging the application.

The 2012 SPS application form and the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme made provision for the procedures to be followed by applicants, who decided to claim an area in excess of the reference area.

- Column 5 of the application form provided that “The claimed area in Column 7 should not exceed this area. If it does, you must complete Column 6 and supply a map or other evidence to verify the new claim.”

- Column 6 of the application, which provided for possible changes to the reference area, states that “If you wish to request an amendment to the Reference area of a parcel, place an “X” in this column ...” It also states that “ Mapping of other evidence of change must be submitted to support any request under this column.”

- Column 7, which catered for the claimed area again emphasises this point by stating that “The reference area (see Column 5) should not be exceeded without marking X in Column against this parcel and submitting maps or other evidence of a change parcel in size”

Notwithstanding the above, the person named claimed a higher area when submitting the 2012 SPS application than that established by my Department. However, while recognising that the land was over-claimed, this Department decided to continue the processing of the application of the person named and, on completion of the validation process, to make payments without using the over-claimed area i.e. no penalty was calculated, or applied, in respect of the over-declaration.

A supplementary payment is due to the person named, following the adjustment in the reference areas of the parcels in question; this payment, which will issue shortly, will be calculated on the basis of the recognised share which the person named has in the parcels in question.