Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (552)

Tom Hayes


552. Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will inform a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary under what section of the agreement can payment to the herd owner under rural environment protection scheme 4 be cut; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9582/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payment under agri-environment schemes are made to compensate for income forgone and additional costs incurred by the scheme participants based on the type of commitments undertaken. In addition, an additional payment of up to 20% may be paid, where justified, based on “transaction costs” which are the costs incurred by participants in engaging with the scheme. Traditionally, this additional payment has been paid under REPS.

Given the on-going difficulties in the public finances and budgetary constraints on my Department, I have had no option but to make difficult decisions in the allocation of the funding available to many competing demands. In finalising my Department’s Estimates for 2012, I announced a 10% reduction in payments under REPS 4 from 2012 onwards. I decided that the reduction would be implemented by way of a cut to the transaction cost of participating farmers of from €28.03 to €5.60 on each hectare on which the a transaction cost was paid. The 2012 payment of the person named was adjusted accordingly. This resulted in a 2012 REPS 4 payment totalling €5,211.52, which issued to the person named in January 2013. Because of the particular circumstances of the person named, this represents a 7.9% reduction when compared to the 2011 payment which totalled €5,660.12.