Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (502)

Joe Carey


502. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 816 of 5 November 2019, the way in which his Department communicated with persons (details supplied) following the annual submission of their area aid, single farm payment or basic payment scheme application form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52703/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The persons named were joint herd owners of herd number in question. They applied annually under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) from 2005, jointly signing their annual application forms as required of joint herd owners, until 2012.

The requirement for joint herd owners to sign annual applications under the SPS was clearly indicated on the annual application form. It constitutes a written undertaking by both applicant(s) to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme. 

In 2012, a request was made by both of the persons named that the entitlements jointly held by them under the SPS be transferred to one of the persons named. My Department wrote to the persons named refusing their request on the basis that a receiver had been appointed and that the Department could not alter the herd arrangements without leave of the Court and/or the receiver.

The decision conveyed in this letter was confirmation that the herd number remained jointly in the names of both persons named. Consequently, the 2012 SPS application would have to be signed by both individuals in order to be a valid application.

During the following four years, the application forms submitted were incomplete as they were signed only by one of the persons named. During this time, the Department sent various correspondence to the persons named relating to their annual applications. No written replies or other communications are recorded as having been received by my Department on this issue.

Consequently, any payments due under the SPS and BPS did not issue.