Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (631)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

631. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the intended date for the receipt of the first applications under the new GLAS; the intended date for the approval of the first participants; the estimated number of farmers that will take part in the scheme; the estimated average payment to each farmer; the estimated number that will also avail of the GLAS plus option; if payments will be made to farmers at the beginning of their participation or whether the first payments will issue at the end of the first year in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23220/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

On 13 May 2014, I announced new details and outline financial allocations in relation to the support measures to be included in the new Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014 – 2020. Work is ongoing in relation of the design of the RDP and it is intended to submit the Programme to the EU Commission at the end of June 2014.

I have allocated a total of €1,450m to the GLAS Scheme and it is anticipated that some 25,000-30,000 farmers will be accepted into the Scheme in 2015 with participation levels rising to 50,000 over the period of the Programme. The maximum payment proposed under GLAS will be €5,000 per annum, and I hope that as many farmers as possible will secure maximum payment in line with their environmental commitments. The GLAS+ payment, which provides for a top-up of up to €2,000 per annum, will initially be targeted at farmers who have to undertake a high number of mandatory actions but other options will be explored over the course of the RDP.

The governing Regulations require that administrative and on-the-spot checks be carried out before payment issues and therefore it is not possible make such payments to farmers on commencement of their new Scheme contracts. As is the case at present, payment of up to 75% of the amount due will be made on completion of the first suite of checks, followed by payment of the balance due when all controls have been applied.