Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (58)

Dara Calleary

Question:

58. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applicants for the single payment scheme last year who had penalties imposed on them; the number who had 100% penalties imposed and the total number of applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29348/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

All applications under the Single Payment Scheme are subject to administrative check, in addition to which a percentage are also subject to field inspection. The basis of both these checks is laid down in the governing EU Regulations. The administrative checks and systems validations confirm compliance with a variety of requirements, including confirming that the application was received on time, that the land declared by the applicant was not also claimed by another Scheme applicant, that the necessary minimum stocking density levels have been achieved, etc. Failure to respect one or more of these Scheme requirements must result in a penalty be applied.

The annual round of field inspections covers both the eligibility of the land declared to draw down payments and also cross compliance aspects, to ensure compliance with EU regulatory requirements in the areas of public, animal and plant health, environment and animal welfare. These inspections are mandatory and there are certain minimum numbers and types of inspections that must take place annually. Land eligibility inspection (either on-farm or by remote sensing) must be carried out on at least 5% of applicants. These checks are carried out to verify that the actual area claimed in the application form corresponds to the area farmed by the farmer and to ensure that any ineligible land or features are not included for aid purposes. In order to be eligible to draw down EU funding, it is a requirement that all land eligibility inspections must take place before any payments can issue to any farmer in the country in a given year.

Some 123,363 cases paid have been paid to date delivering over €1.2bn to farmers in respect of the 2012 Single payment Scheme. Of these, 4,004 applicants incurred penalties on their payments, as follows:

Nature of penalty

Number of cases

Over-claim penalty

1,365

Late penalty

468

Cross compliance penalty

2,053

Late penalty & Cross compliance penalty

15

Over-claim penalty & Cross compliance penalty

93

Over-claim penalty & Late penalty

10

Total

4,004

In addition, a total of 334 applicants incurred penalties resulting in no payment being made, as follows:

Nature of penalty

Number of cases

Over-claim penalty

266

Late penalty

54

Cross compliance penalty

12

Over-claim penalty and Late penalty

1

Over-claim penalty & Cross Compliance penalty

1

Total

334