Control of Horses

Questions (1360, 1371, 1372, 1373)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1360. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason his Department or Cork City Council refuse to remove stray, unregistered horses from lands in an area (details supplied) in Cork city; the reason the horses have not been removed by the council in view of the fact that they are on land not designated for equines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34878/19]

View answer

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1371. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason his Department or Cork City Council refuse to remove stray horses from lands in an area (details supplied) on welfare grounds in view of the fact there is no available drinking water on site; the reason requests by farmers for the animals to be removed are being ignored in view of the fact the land is needed to harvest silage; the reason farmers in the area are being forced to accommodate the animals in further view of the fact that perimeter fencing was purposefully cut to allow the horses to enter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34877/19]

View answer

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1372. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason stray horses on lands in an area (details supplied) have not been removed despite the erection of a sign by his Department in December 2018 informing the owners of the animals to remove them within a certain timeframe that has passed or face them being impounded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34879/19]

View answer

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1373. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason stray unregistered horses are allowed to remain on lands in an area (details supplied) presenting a biosecurity risk to the cattle of farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34880/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1360 and 1371 to 1373, inclusive, together.

The Control of Horses Act 1996 provides powers to Local Authorities to deal with stray and abandoned horses and for the designation by each Local Authority of control areas in which horses cannot be kept without a licence. Members of An Garda Siochána have also been assigned powers commensurate with those of Authorised Officers under the Act.

Land owners have responsibility to ensure appropriate fencing, boundaries, notices and signage are in place to control movement of stray equines.

In the area of welfare, officials of my Department may intervene under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. In addition, local authorities are empowered to appoint officers of the Authority as authorised officers to enforce the Animal Health and Welfare Act within the Authority’s functional area.

My Department officials are aware of the situation in Holyhill to which the Deputy refers and a Department Veterinary Inspector has undertaken regular inspections to monitor any welfare issues with the horses concerned. Veterinary Officials have also been liaising with other agencies including the Gardai in an effort to resolve the matter. Additionally, the situation has been monitored by the ISPCA who have remained in contact with the local Department office.

A number of horses and a donkey were seized recently from the Holyhill location in question under the Control of Horses Act 1996.

My Department has also taken a proactive approach in tackling challenges that arise in the case of horse ownership in urban areas by developing suitable facilities and in educating the young people involved in the care and welfare of horses. This work is done in close collaboration with the local authorities involved.

Budget 2020

Questions (1361)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1361. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the funding allocation will be reviewed for budget 2020 for all schemes (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35527/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Discussions on the 2020 Budget are currently underway between my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and all budget lines in the Vote are being examined as part of that process. My intention is to ensure that all resources made available to my Department, now and in the future, will be managed to advance Government priorities and provide optimum outcomes including in relation to the funding of schemes which underpin farm income and deliver environmental benefits.

TAMS Funding

Questions (1362)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1362. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if €120 million for TAMS for 2020 will be allocated (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35550/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The level of expenditure under the suite of seven TAMS II measures is being monitored with approvals and payments continuing on an on-going basis.

The annual budget allocation for next year will be decided as part of the Estimates process for Budget 2020.

Future Growth Loan Scheme

Questions (1363)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1363. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of farmers and food businesses that have applied to the future growth loan scheme which opened in March 2019; the number of farmers and businesses sanctioned financing to date; and the value of same, in tabular form. [36822/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Future Growth Loan Scheme has been open for loan eligibility applications through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland's (SBCI) website since 17th April. The Scheme was developed by my Department and the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, in partnership with the Department of Finance, the SBCI and the European Investment Fund (EIF).

It will be delivered through participating finance providers and make up to €300 million of investment loans available to eligible Irish businesses, including farmers and the agri-food & seafood sectors. The loans will be competitively priced with an initial maximum loan interest rate of 4.5% for loans less than €250,000. The loans are for terms of 8-10 years and unsecured up to €500,000. This type of innovative finance, which has been previously unavailable in the Irish market, will support strategic long-term investment in a post-Brexit environment.

A minimum loan amount of €100,000 applies up to a maximum of €3,000,000 per applicant. However, considering the needs of Irish farmers, a minimum of €50,000 was negotiated specifically for them. This is a long-awaited source of finance for young and new entrant farmers, especially the cohort who do not have high levels of security. It will also serve smaller-scale farmers, who often do not have the leverage to negotiate for more favourable terms with their banking institution. Food companies have identified long term investment finance of up to ten years as a critical need which is currently unavailable in Ireland. The effects of this innovative product will be felt all along the food production chain, from primary producer to processor.

There is a two-step application process. An eligibility application to the SBCI, which confirms the applicant is eligible for the unsecured finance as per the terms of the Scheme, and a loan application to the participating bank. At close of business on 30th of August 2019, SBCI had approved 987 eligibility applications. A breakdown of those progressed to sanction at bank level is as follows:

-

No.

Value

Total number of loans sanctioned at bank level

168

€27.4m

Loans sanctioned to Farmers

105

€12.1m

Loans to sanctioned to food businesses

12

€3.8m

TAMS Funding

Questions (1364)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1364. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if funding to support farmers will be introduced (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35548/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 provides funding for capital expenditure under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS). TAMS II has been very successful in terms of uptake with the number of approvals that have issued to date exceeding 22,100. All of these approvals represent committed expenditure. Until such time as these approvals are acted upon or expire, the budget for TAMS must include provision for the potential expenditure involved. Current estimates indicate that the total budget of €395m available under TAMS II for the suite of seven measures covering a wide range of investments will be fully spent under these approvals. There are no plans, therefore, to introduce the additional investment items proposed at this time.

Capital allowances may be claimed in respect of plant and machinery at a rate of 12.5% over eight year. For certain energy efficient equipment, an Accelerated Capital Allowance of 100% applies.

Forestry Sector

Questions (1365)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

1365. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether the knowledge transfer course associated with the rural communities forestry programme is adequately assessed in circumstances in which points were assigned as opposed to issues such as geographical location or age profile; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34727/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Forestry Knowledge Transfer Scheme was developed as part of the Forestry Programme 2014-2020, with the aim of improving knowledge of forest management amongst the 20,000 private forest landowners in the country. A pilot scheme in was held 2017 and, following its success, the scheme was formally launched in 2018, with over 600 forest owners participating. This year, 18 organisers have been approved for a total of 37 Forestry KT groups comprising over 700 participant forest owners.

The scheme is voluntary and it is up to potential organisers themselves to decide if they wish to host a group or groups. Organisers may apply to host up to five groups and their applications are scored to ensure they meet a minimum standard, that the applicant organisers can show that they have the required experience to host a KTG and that they understand the requirements of the scheme, rather than their location.

The next step is to consider the total cumulative cost of funding all the applications. Where the total cost is below the available budget, then the organisers who have met the minimum score are invited to submit applications for all their requested groups. If the total budget is exceeded, an allocation protocol applies. This allocation process is set out in the Scheme terms and conditions, reducing the allocation of those organisers who requested five groups to four and so on until all organisers receive an allocation of at least one group.

Applications for the 2019 Scheme were of a very high standard. Following the scoring and allocation process, I was very pleased to allocate a total of 37 groups to organisers based in locations around the country.

Greyhound Industry

Questions (1366)

Paul Murphy

Question:

1366. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 1067 of 17 April 2018, if he is a member of a syndicate (details supplied) that owns a dog; if not, if he was a member of the syndicate in the past; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34753/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I wish to confirm that I do not own nor have I ever owned the named greyhound.

Greyhound Industry

Questions (1367)

Paul Murphy

Question:

1367. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the members of a syndicate (details supplied) that is involved in greyhound racing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34754/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) has been the keeper for the Irish Greyhound Stud Book since 1923. Details of the ownership of greyhounds, including syndicate members, are kept in the Stud Book.

As the information being sought is personal data, belonging to individuals other than the person making the request, the ICC is prohibited by the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 from disclosing any personal data relating to individuals other than to the individuals themselves.

Greyhound Industry

Questions (1368)

Paul Murphy

Question:

1368. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a dog (details supplied) is being used for breeding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34755/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bord na gCon has informed me that, following a recent call to the Greyhound Care Line, established by Bord na gCon in July 2019, their welfare department began an investigation into the wellbeing of the named greyhound. Bord na gCon, following its investigation, was able to confirm that the greyhound is with new owners in the UK and that they understand that the greyhound is not being used for breeding purposes but is being kept as a household pet.

Ministerial Advisers Data

Questions (1369)

Michael McGrath

Question:

1369. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the name of each person employed as an adviser or special adviser to him and the Minister of State in his Department; the salary of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34838/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the Appointment of Special Adviser (Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine) Orders, 2016 and 2018 the following are employed as special advisors to me as Minister of this Department:

Ms Áine Kilroy and Mr Jonathan Hoare are currently serving as my advisers, in line with Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act, 1997. Their contracts terminate at the end of my term as Minister. The current salary scale for Ministerial Advisers is €83,090.00 - €102,159.00 p/a.

The Adviser to the Minister of State of my Department is Ms Avril Cronin. Her contract terminates at the end of the Minister for State’s term. The current salary scale for an adviser to a Minster of State is €65,356.00 - €79,681.00 p/a.

Additional information relating to the appointment of advisers is provided to the Oireachtas upon their appointment.

Fish Discards

Questions Nos. 1371 to 1373, inclusive, answered with Question No. 1360.

Questions (1370)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1370. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the discarding of fish remains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34868/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The landing obligation (also referred to as the ‘discards ban’) was introduced as part of the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The objective of the landing obligation is to eliminate the wasteful and unsustainable practice of discarding fish. The landing obligation was phased in and was fully implemented on 1st January 2019. The Landing obligation, as part of the CFP framework, is a key tool for the long term conservation and sustainability of fish stocks around our shores and the long term sustainability of fishing in Ireland and throughout EU waters.

The discarding of fish offal from fish processed on board, however, is not covered by the landing obligation. If the Deputy would like to further pursue this issue, I would suggest contacting the National Parks and Wildlife Service and/or the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as the national bodies responsible for seagulls.

Questions Nos. 1371 to 1373, inclusive, answered with Question No. 1360.

Beef Industry

Questions (1374)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1374. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cattle that were traded in a mart and then slaughtered within 30 days of the sale in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of herd owners that purchased the livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34881/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table.

Year

No of animals traded in a mart and slaughtered within 30 days

No of herdowners that purchased the livestock

2016

121,574

2,022

2017

132,377

1,941

2018

123,726

1,799

2019

52,228

1,230

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme

Questions (1375)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1375. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the difference between raised bog and Atlantic lowland blanket bog under the definitions set out in the basic payment and the areas of natural constraints schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34882/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The 2015 “Guide to Land Eligibility” sets out that non-agricultural area is not eligible land for the purposes of the Basic payment Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints scheme. Raised bog is not considered to be agricultural area and is therefore not eligible for payment under these schemes.

Blanket bog can be considered as agricultural area and is eligible for payment, provided it is in a state suitable for grazing and there is evidence of an agricultural activity during the year of the claim and the other scheme conditions are met. In all cases, the area must be reduced to take account of ineligible features in the parcel e.g, scrub, wet areas, fenced off areas, etc.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme

Questions (1376)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1376. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if boglands suitable for grazing are eligible under the basic payment and areas of natural constraints schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34883/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Any land which is considered as agricultural area and is in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation and is used for an agricultural activity in the year of a claim is eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, provided all other scheme conditions are met.

Blanket bog may be considered as agricultural area and be eligible for payment provided other scheme conditions are met. Raised bog, however, is considered as non-agricultural area and therefore is not eligible land.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme

Questions (1377)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Question:

1377. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if boglands that show evidence of grazing are eligible under the basic payment and areas of natural constraints schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34884/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In order to be eligible land under the Basic Payment Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, the land must be agricultural area. Blanket bog can be considered as agricultural area and, where the land is in a state suitable for grazing and there is evidence of grazing in the year of the claim, the area can be considered as eligible.

Raised bog, however, is considered as non-agricultural area and therefore is never considered as eligible, whether used for turf production or not, under the Basic Payment Scheme and the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme.

Beef Industry

Questions (1378)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1378. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to change the four movement rule for cattle in view of the fact it is no longer required for animal health protection reasons, particularly due to the negative effect the rule can have on the price of cattle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34907/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

A Quality Payment System (QPS) related to the beef grid was agreed between Meat Industry Ireland (MII) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in 2009. The payment is based on the classification of the carcass in which a price differential is set between certain classification grades.

My understanding is that any additional bonus payments and the conditions attached to qualification for such payments are determined by processors and their retail customers. There are a number of conditions which pertain to such payments, including include age limits and restrictions on the number of movements allowed. These are commercial arrangements and my Department has no role in their establishment, nor in collection or analysis of the payments which are made.

At the recent Beef Stakeholder talks it was agreed that an in-depth review of market and customer criteria, in relation to the four in-spec bonus criteria will be carried out, in response to farmer stakeholder concerns. Full details of the conclusions from these talks are available on my Department's web-site: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/beef/StakeholderConclusions210819.pdf.

Beef Industry

Questions (1379)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1379. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ensure that the board of an organisation (details supplied) is more representative of the suckler cow breeder in view of the role of the organisation in the determining of star ratings under the beef data and genomics programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34908/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation Society Ltd is registered with the Companies Registration Office in Dublin under Registration Number 4914R, through the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978. The ICBF has registered offices at Highfield House, Shinagh, Bandon, Co Cork.

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) is a not for profit co-operative established by shareholders to improve cattle breeding in Ireland. A full list of the current ICBF shareholders can be found at the following link https://www.icbf.com/wp/?page_id=338.

The ICBF board includes representatives of farm bodies, breed societies, AI and Milk Recording Organisations, and my Department.

The management of ICBF is the responsibility of its Board, which is broadly representative of all sectors of the Irish livestock industry. Matters pertaining to corporate governance at the ICBF are determined by their own procedures and also in accordance with the rules of the Companies Registration Office. Under the relevant regulations, as Minister for Agriculture, I may make one appointment to the board at any given time. However, neither I nor my Department have any role in determining the overall composition of the board of ICBF.

Beef Industry

Questions (1380)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1380. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to place a limit on the maximum payout per farmer in EU temporary exceptional adjustment aid; his further plans to front load the payment on the first ten cows; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34909/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payment rates and limits under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) are as follows:

Bovine animals aged over 12 months presented to a slaughtering establishment in the period 24 September 2018 to 12 May 2019 inclusive at a rate of €100 per animal subject to a maximum of 100 such animals per eligible herd; and/or Beef breed female animals with progeny born in the year 2018, which were sired by a beef breed bull, at a rate of €40 per animal subject to a maximum of 40 such animals per eligible herd.

These and all details relating to Beef Exceptional Aid Measure are set out in the Terms and conditions published on my Department's website: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/beefexceptionalaidmeasure/BEAMTANDC150819.pdf.

Farm Inspections

Questions (1381)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1381. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of inspections carried out on farming premises in 2018, by county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34945/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In the context of delivering the various Direct Payment Schemes and Rural Development measures, my Department is required to carry out on-the-spot inspections annually. These inspections cover the areas of land eligibility and other scheme-specific eligibility criteria. Inspections to ensure compliance with Greening requirements in the areas of Crop Diversification and Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) are required. In addition, inspections to ensure compliance with the Cross Compliance requirements, as set down in EU legislation (Directives and Regulations), and the standards for good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC), in the areas of environment, climate change and good agricultural condition of land; public, animal and plant health and animal welfare are required.

The EU regulations governing the inspections require that specific percentages of cases must be inspected. In addition, the regulations provide for the 'stacking' of inspections, i.e., cases selected a Land Eligibility inspection under one scheme can count towards the percentage inspection requirements for another scheme. My Department also endeavours to minimise the number of 'gates crossed', as much as possible, by 'stacking' inspections, for example, Animal Identification and Registration inspections will be combined with Eligibility inspections, where feasible.

The following tables details the number of holdings subject to inspections in respect of 2018 Scheme Year applications. The data is being provided at national level as the annual inspection programme, including the risk analysis selection process, operates on a national basis and, therefore, any comparison on a county basis is meaningless.

Land/Scheme Eligibility - covering the Basic Payment Scheme; the Greening Payment; the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, the Areas of Specific Constraints (Islands) Scheme; the Young Farmers Scheme; the Protein Aid Scheme and the Beef Data and Genomics Programme.

The EU regulations provide that Land Eligibility inspections can be undertaken by means of field visits on the ground or by means of Remote Sensing using up-to-date satellite imagery. Where it is not possible to make an accurate determination using the satellite imagery, a field visit will be required to verify the position on the ground. My Department currently inspects in the region of 85% of land eligibility cases by means of Remote Sensing.

Type of Inspection

Number of Farm Holdings subject to Inspection - 2018 Scheme Year

Ground Inspection

1,224

Remote Sensing Inspection

6,845

Remote Sensing Field Visit

1,015

A total of 1,030 farm holdings were subject to a Scheme Eligiblity inspection under the 2018 Sheep Welfare Scheme. This scheme does not have a land eligibility element to the inspection process.

Cross Compliance Inspections - Applicants under the various EU funded schemes are obliged to comply with the requirements of Cross Compliance set out in the governing EU regulations under the various Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) and the standards for Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC).

Type of Inspection

Number of Farm Holdings subject to Inspection - 2018 Scheme Year

Full Cross Compliance Inspection

1,466

Animal Identification and Registration Inspection

4,324

A total of 853 holdings were subject to a Local Authority Nitrates inspections under an agreement between my Department and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

As outlined above my Department endeavours to 'stack' inspections where this is feasible.

The following tables relate to inspections in respect of other Rural Development measures to meet requirements under the EU regulations.

Scheme

Number of Farm Holdings subject to Inspection - 2018 Scheme Year

GLAS (Green, Low Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme)

2,500

Scheme

Number of Inspections in 2018

OFS (Organic Farming Scheme)

91

Scheme

Number of Farm Holdings subject to Inspection in 2018

TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes)

1,059

A further 372 farm holdings were inspected in 2018 in respect of applications to exceed the 170kg nitrogen/hectare limit.

Beekeeping Industry

Questions (1382)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1382. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there are restrictions applying regarding the establishment of honey bee hives; if there are rules, regulations and recommendations regarding location; if there are advices regarding their compatibility with heavily populated urban settings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34951/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Regarding the apiculture sector, my Department has responsibility for honeybee health and food safety for honey. Selecting or advising on locations for establishment of beehives for the beekeeping sector is not within the remit of my Department. Local or national beekeeping associations may be helpful in advising on the best or most suitable locations for the siting of honeybee hives.

Tax Reliefs Availability

Questions (1383)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1383. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a person (details supplied) can avail of agricultural relief and or business relief; if so, the rules regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34952/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

While taxation policy is primarily the responsibility of my colleague the Minister for Finance, I work closely with him to ensure that it is consistent with the Government's priorities for the agri-food sector.

Budget 2019 saw the publication of the "Progress Implementation Update of the Agri-taxation Review 2014”. This report shows the excellent progress made between the two Departments over recent Budgets with the almost complete implementation of the 25 recommendations, which has resulted in positive changes for Irish agriculture, especially in the areas of land mobility and succession. The Update shows that taxation support to the sector averaged €930 million per annum in the years 2012 to 2016, or an average of or €240million per annum in specific agri-taxation measures.

The operation of the taxation system is solely the responsibility of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. The person named should therefore contact the Revenue Commissioners directly and/or seek professional advice on the matter.

Young Farmers Scheme

Questions (1384)

Peter Burke

Question:

1384. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35042/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was selected for an inspection under the 2018 Young Farmers Scheme (YFS), which was carried out on the 13/03/2019. A letter issued on the 09/04/2019 outlining the findings of the inspection which determined that the Young Farmer was not in financial control of the holdings, as required under the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme.

The person named submitted comments and additional documentation on the findings of the inspection and this was examined prior to the inspection outcome being finalised. A Formal Notice (FN) letter issued on the 29/04/2019 which advised that the inspection outcome remained as previously notified. The person named has sought a review of this decision and this is currently being exmained by the relevant District Inspector. The outcome of this review will be notified to the person named once completed.

In the event that the person named is disatisfied with the outcome of the review, they can appeal the decision to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office.