Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (448)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

448. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of applicants selected for a remote sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area based schemes; the number of inspections in respect of the cases that have taken place; the number finalised and processed to payment stage; and the number of such applicants that have and have not received their 2019 payments in tabular form. [49788/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

EU regulations governing the administration of the Basic Payment Scheme, the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and other area-based schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including Ground or Remote Sensing (Satellite) inspections where applicable, are fully completed to ensure eligibility with the various schemes requirements before any payments issue. There are certain minimum numbers of inspections that must take place annually under the various schemes.

Some 6,840 applicants have been selected for a Remote Sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area-based schemes.

It is important to note that in many cases, the existence of an inspection will not necessarily be delaying payment. In relation to the ANC/Islands Schemes, these schemes are subject to a range of eligibility and compliance criteria such as the requirement to meet a minimum stocking density in addition to maintaining minimum livestock units calculated over the twelve months of the scheme year.

At this stage, a number of farmers are not eligible to receive payment as they have not met scheme-specific criteria. When an applicant meets these criteria, they will become eligible for payment which will be processed promptly. Factors that may impact on payment issuing under BPS/Greening include, for example, applications to transfer entitlements, change in ownership request, etc., and officials in my Department are actively processing such cases.

The table below details the position on Remote Sensing inspections, as of 2nd December, in relation to the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Greening Payment and the Areas of Natural Constraints/Areas of Specific Constraints (Islands) Schemes (ANC/Islands).

The balancing payment (15%) under the ANC/Islands Schemes is scheduled to commence from 9th December.

Payments under the Protein Aid Scheme, Young Farmers Scheme and Beef Data and Genomics Programme are scheduled to commence shortly, therefore detailed data in relation to these schemes is not yet available.

Scheme

No. of Eligible Applicants subject to Remote Sensing Inspection

No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Advanced to Payment Stage

No. of Inspection Cases Fully Completed & Paid

No. of Inspections Cases

Fully Completed & Not Paid

No. of Inspections to be Finalised

BPS

6,619

6,079

6,008

71

540

Greening

6,619

6,077

5,914

163

542

ANC/Islands

5,823

5,384

4,505

879

439

The inspection cases yet to be finalised are at various stages of final processing and, once fully completed, will then be advanced through payment stage processing promptly.

My Department continues to finalise the outcome of Remote Sensing inspections on a daily basis to ensure that BPS/Greening and ANC/Islands Schemes payments due are issued as quickly as possible.