Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (34)

Barry Cowen

Question:

34. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of EU funding under the TAMS scheme that remains unspent to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29366/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

EU Commission approval for the introduction of a number of targeted agricultural modernisation schemes (“TAMS”) which were designed to support productive investment in the agricultural sector was received in March 2010, with total funding of €110 million as provided for in Ireland’s Rural Development Programme for 2007-2013. This funding has enabled investment to take place in a number of specific sectors such as animal welfare, bioenergy, dairy equipment, rainwater harvesting and sheep fencing/handling.

Total cumulative expenditure to end-May 2013 was €19.57 million. As TAMS applicants generally have two years from the date of issue of Department approval to complete the investment works concerned, actual expenditure lags very significantly behind the financial commitments made in the form of approved projects by my Department under each Scheme at any particular time. The EU recoupment rate is either 85% or 50%, depending on the year of expenditure.

I am aware that some farmers have found it difficult to complete the investment works concerned within the two year period referred to above, and I have therefore recently confirmed that farmers with outstanding approvals under the Dairy Equipment, Rainwater Harvesting and Sheep Fencing/Handling Schemes may apply in writing to my Department for an extension of the time-limit concerned.