Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (987)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

987. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether the removal of single farm payment entitlements from 150,000 hectares was illegal according to the European Court of Auditor's report 2006. [38728/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Payment entitlements under the Single Payment Scheme, were established by farmers that farmed during the reference years of 2000, 2001 and 2002, in accordance with the European Commission Regulation (EC) 1782/2003. These payment entitlements were not attached to land.

Ireland consolidated payment entitlements in accordance with Article 42(5) of Regulation (EC) 1782/2003 and Article 7 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 795/2004. This enabled certain categories of farmers to surrender their original payment entitlements to the National Reserve. In exchange, these farmers received a lower number of payment entitlements with an increased payment entitlement unit value. In order to consolidate payment entitlements, farmers must have farmed during the reference years outlined above.

In relation to the audit carried out by the European Court of Auditors, the consolidation process implemented by my Department was entirely in accordance with EU Regulations and has been endorsed as such.