Scéim Talmhaíochta

Questions (209)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

209. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara cén uair a dhéanfar íocaíocht faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste agus Scéim na hÍocaíochta Aonair do 2013 le feirmeoir i gContae na Gaillimhe (sonraí leis seo); cén fáth go bhfuil moill leis an íocaíocht seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [45337/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Rinneadh iarratas ar Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste / an Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair 2013 an 16 Bealtaine 2013 faoin uimhir thréada thuas. I ndiaidh don iarratas a bheith déanta, aistríodh an uimhir thréada sin chuig an duine ainmnithe ó ainm a mháthar.

Scríobh mo Roinn chuig an duine ainmnithe an 18 Meán Fómhair, ag cur comhairle air gur chóir dó féin agus dá mháthair foirm iarratais ar Aistriú Teidlíochta a chomhlánú chun socrú a dhéanamh teidlíochtaí na hÍocaíochta Aonair a bhí sealbhaithe in ainm a mháthar a aistriú chuig a ainm féin. Ina theannta sin, de réir mar a aistríodh an uimhir thréada chuig an duine ainmnithe tar éis dó iarratas ar an Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair a chur isteach, bhí gá le foirm bhreise trínar chomhaontaigh an duine ainmnithe leis na freagrachtaí uile a bhaineann leis an Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair. Tá na foirmeacha sin próiseáilte anois.

Déanfar an t-iarratas a phróiseáil tuilleadh d'fhonn an réamhíocaíocht faoin Scéim Íocaíochta Aonair 2013 a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir. Rinneadh íocaíocht i ndáil le Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste 2013 an 21 Deireadh Fómhair 2013.

Forestry Grants

Questions (210)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

210. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a decision has been made on an application for a forest road grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45383/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The application by the person named under the Forest Roads Scheme is with the Forestry Inspectorate for consideration and recommendation in relation to the project. This should be completed within the next few weeks and a decision on the application will be given as soon as possible thereafter.

Beef Genomics Scheme

Questions (211)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

211. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine with regard to the new BGS scheme, in respect of which the cost of sampling is supposed to be set at €25, if this may be reduced to €15 in view of the fact that farm incomes have decreased so much in recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45415/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I announced the Beef Genomics Scheme (BGS) on 15 October in the context of Budget 2014. The operational details are currently being finalised.

Having regard to the overall level of benefit for farmers and the potential productivity gains accruing from participation in the scheme, I am confident that the cost of sampling for the BGS will be reasonable. As with all schemes, its operation will be kept under review once introduced.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

Questions (212)

Michael Creed

Question:

212. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a decision has been made in respect of an appeal to the Ombudsman regarding a disadvantaged area scheme appeals committee decision on a stocking density derogation application by a person (details supplied) in County Cork for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45434/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named is one of a number of applicants under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, whose cases were impacted by the requirement to have achieved a minimum stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare in 2011, and who applied for and were refused derogation in this regard. The person named subsequently appealed unsuccessfully to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. However, the person named then submitted further information to my Department, following consideration of which allowed his derogation application to be accepted; he was notified accordingly by letter dated 16 July 2013. On foot of this decision, the application of the person named under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme was immediately finalised with full payment issuing on 18 July 2013, directly to the nominated bank account.

The application of the person named under the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has also been processed, with full payment having issued on 24 September 2013, again directly to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Questions (213)

Dan Neville

Question:

213. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason for the delay in payment under the disadvantaged areas scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; when payment will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45438/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

With processing of the 2013 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme application of the person named having recently been finalised, payment issued directly to the nominated bank account of the person named on 21 October 2013.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (214)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

214. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a REP scheme 4 payment will be made available to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45442/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and received payments for the first four years of their contract.

REPS 4 is a measure under the current 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. Arrangements are well advanced to issue payments in respect of 2013 and I expect that these payments will commence in November.

Forestry Premium Payments

Questions (215)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

215. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which forestry premia are payable in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; the extent to which premium payments are now due or remain outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45493/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While grant aid for establishment of plantations was available to landowners in 1989 when the person in question afforested his land under the Western Package Scheme, there was no scheme providing annual forestry premiums in place at that time. A scheme of compensatory allowances was available at the time as an adjunct to the Headage Payments scheme, i.e. it was payable as a top-up to farmers in receipt of headage payments. However, the person concerned was not a participant in the Headage scheme.

A scheme of forestry premiums for non-farmers only came into being for landowners who afforested their land after 1993. Therefore the person concerned does not qualify for any forestry premium payments on his land.

Horse Racing Industry Development

Questions (216)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

216. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will give consideration to the points raised in correspondence (details supplied) from the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45563/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I welcome the publication of an 'Analysis of the Economic Impact of the Irish thoroughbred Industry, October 2013'. This detailed analysis of the thoroughbred industry, commissioned by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, is a very useful piece of research for anybody with an interest in the sector.

I am acutely aware of the importance of the thoroughbred sector to the Irish economy and its pre-eminent position on the world stage as a global leader in the bloodstock industry. Indeed next week, I will be travelling on a major trade mission to the Gulf States, and the promotion of the Irish thoroughbred sector will be a major feature of the visit. I note that the ITBA Report estimates the industry contributed €1.1bn in economic output and supported 14,000 jobs in 2012. The Report identifies challenges facing the industry and suggests a range of actions aimed at securing the future of the industry.

The ITBA Report raises the issue of the taxation of betting and possible changes to the rate of VAT to be charged on horses. Earlier this year, my colleague, the Minister for Finance, introduced the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013 which is aimed at updating the system of taxation applying to the betting industry. The Minister for Finance will also address the issue of VAT on horses through the Finance Bill.

The ITBA Report also raises issues with regard to prize money and the importance of the establishment of overseas markets. Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), a commercial state body established under the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 and representing key sectors of the thoroughbred industry, is responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the industry. Decisions regarding prize money fall within the remit of HRI. Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) is a subsidiary of HRI. It is funded by HRI and by the Irish bloodstock industry, including breeders, sales companies and stallion farms. ITM provides service and support to overseas visitors interested in the Irish thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. The principal focus of ITM is to generate inward investment and to increase export sales of Irish bloodstock.

Successive Governments have recognised the importance of the horse industry for our country, and have supported it through legislation and policy initiatives. Infrastructural supports are provided to the industry through various measures operated by my Department. This commitment to investment has enabled Ireland to develop into a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding. The Deputy is aware that of my personal commitment to this indigenous Irish industry. Since taking office I have taken an active interest in the industry and I commissioned an independent review of the industry in 2012.

Officials in my Department are currently preparing legislative proposals aimed at giving effect to the recommendations contained in the Indecon report on the Irish Horse Racing Industry (2012) which I plan to bring before the Cabinet for approval as soon as possible.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (217)

Seán Fleming

Question:

217. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the expenditure adjustment that will be made within his Department in 2014; the full-year impact of expenditure measures that will be taken in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45580/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Exchequer contribution to the Vote for the Department will amount to some €1,203 million in 2014, which is comprised of some €1,019.2 million in current expenditure and €183.7 million capital expenditure. While this represents a fall of €29.5m.in overall terms on the current budget in 2014 compared to 2013, it nevertheless reflects the reality of macro level budgetary constraints. It is also worth noting that some agriculture schemes are coming to the end of their natural life and separately, the Department continues to reduce the administrative cost of delivering its programmes for farmers and the agri-food sector as part of its reform programme.

Details of adjustments to the Department's current budget (excluding central pay policy developments) to comply with the 2014 expenditure ceiling are as follows:

Current budget 2014

€ m.

Current Budget 2013

1,048.7

- Savings from scheme closures (REPs, Early retirement, Suckler Cow)

37.6

- Reduction in animal health and market support areas

12.4

- Additional pay savings to be achieved over and above pay savings achieved through the Haddington Road Agreement

2.9

Subtotal

52.9

Increased funding for new measures (Beef Genomics Scheme)

(23.4)

Total saving

29.5

Current budget 2014

1,019.2

Capital Budget 2014

€ m.

Capital budget as set out in the 2013 Expenditure Report

168

Adjustments: forestry and Haulbowline remediation

15.7

Capital budget 2014

183.7

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (218)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Question:

218. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if public health nursing and the child and adolescent mental health services will be included in the functions of the Child and Family Agency Bill 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45440/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Following a Government decision on the Heads of Bill in November last, work on the drafting of the legislation – the Child and Family Agency Bill – was advanced in conjunction with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. The Child and Family Agency Bill was published on Friday 12 July, 2013 and progressed to Committee Stage on 22nd October, 2013.

The establishment of the Child and Family Agency is central to the Government's reform programme in respect of child and family services. From its establishment the Agency will have service responsibility for:

- Child welfare and protection services currently operated by the HSE including family support and alternative care services;

- Child and family-related services for which the HSE currently has responsibility including pre-school inspections and domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services;

- The Family Support Agency which currently operates as a separate body under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and will be merged into the new Agency;

- The National Educational Welfare Board which also currently operates as a separate body under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and will be merged into the new Agency;

- Community-based psychology services (this does not encompass psychologists operating within acute, disability, mental health or other specialist settings).

The Bill largely focuses on the technical task of bringing together the functions of the three “source” agencies (the HSE, the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board).

The Task Force on the Child and Family Support Agency made recommendations on a range of other services relevant to children and families, including:

- public health nursing;

- speech and language therapy;

- child and adolescent mental health; and

- children's detention.

The practical implications of the scale of organisational change already outlined in the Bill are such as to require that consideration of these wider recommendations and, should it be considered appropriate, their implementation take place according to a less immediate timescale. This will allow for more careful review and consideration in conjunction with relevant Departments, principally the Department of Health.

A joint protocol for inter-agency working between the HSE and the Child and Family Agency, when established, has been prepared following extensive dialogue between Children and Family Services, Primary Care, Disability Services and Mental Health Services. The protocol aims to ensure a consistent national approach to service delivery where two or more services are involved in the same case. The protocol provides for local collaboration across care groups at local practitioner level with a mechanism for escalation to Area level and beyond if required. The Department and the Child and Family Agency will continue to advance such a collaborative approach in conjunction with the Department of Health and the HSE.