Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1454)

Charlie McConalogue


1454. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason 15% of 2019 ANC payments will not be issued to approved farmers until December 2019. [36826/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme is a key financial support for farmers throughout the country. With this in mind, I have increased the budget for the Scheme in 2019 to €250m.

Payments under EU funded schemes are subject to various EU regulations. In this instance, EU Regulation No 1306/2013 as amended by what is referred to as the omnibus regulation sets out many of the rules relating to the timing of payments. Under this amended Regulation, it is permitted to pay advance payments under the ANC before 1 December. The rate set out in the Regulation for these advance payments is 75%.

My Department submitted a request for a derogation from the relevant regulations to the EU Commission, to allow us to continue making full payments under the ANC in mid-September as had been allowed under the Regulation in previous years. This request has not been acceded to, although the advance payment rate has been increased to 85% on foot of this request.

My Department is now finalising arrangements to commence payments under a range of schemes in the coming months, to ensure that these important financial supports are delivered to farmers in an efficient manner.