Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (47)

Michael McGrath

Question:

47. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the earliest date legally the disadvantaged areas payment can be paid on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29342/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

There is no specific regulatory payment date for the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS), unlike, for example, the Single Payment Scheme where the governing regulation provides for payments to issue in the period 1 December of the year of application to 30 June of the year following. However, in the case of DAS, it is a requirement of the governing EU legislation that all eligibility checks must have been completed before payments can be completed. Bearing this in mind and also that farmers’ applications are submitted up to mid-May, it has been generally recognised (and reflected in the Farmers' Charter), that a payment target of late September of the given year is the most realistically attainable. My Department is making every effort to ensure that payments will commence as early as possible in September of the current year.

Payments under the 2012 Scheme commenced on 26 September and, to date, payments worth in excess of €208 million have issued to 95,449 farmers. Payments continue to issue twice weekly, as individual cases are confirmed eligible.