Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (2440, 2443)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

2440. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount that has been allocated annually to farmers in each of the years 2017 to 2020; the annual payment received from the EU; the annual contribution by Ireland; the annual administration costs associated with operating the payments in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18172/21]

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Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

2443. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount that has been allocated annually to Irish farmers from 2017 to 2020, in tabular form; the annual payment of same received from the European Union in addition to the annual contribution of his Department; if he will include the annual administration costs associated with operating the payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18250/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2440 and 2443 together.

Payments to farmers are comprised of direct payments under Pillar 1 of the CAP, and farmer-related Rural Development Programme payments under Pillar 2. The European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) finances direct payments and market supports. The European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) co-finances rural development measures under approved Rural Development Programmes (RDP).

The following table summarises CAP payments from 2017 to 2020:

2017€000

2018€000

2019€000

2020€000

Pillar I - EAGF*

1,207,879

1,208,908

1,252,852

1,187,000

Pillar II EAFRD**

538,835

635,712

641,404

604,792

Total

1,746,714

1,844,620

1,894,256

1,791,792

* EAGF payments do not include Market Intervention, APS & other Market Supports

** The figures represent payments to all beneficiaries, the majority of whom are farmers. They may vary from other published figures on Rural Development Programme expenditure as they exclude technical assistance and LEADER payments, which are not made to farmers.

The RDP payments are co-funded by the exchequer at an average rate of 47%.

EU co-funding - EAFRD ***

2017€000

2018€000

2019€000

2020€000

EU co-funded amount

282,452

321,083

311,834

291,655

Irish Exchequer co-funded

256,383

314,629

329,570

313,137

Total Value of EAFRD claims

538,835

635,712

641,404

604,792

Additional National Financing by Ireland

20,125

45,817

68,124

68,798

*** Excluding technical assistance and LEADER payments.

Administration costs.

2017€000

2018€000

2019€000

2020€000

Total EU co-funded and National spend on Farm sector support and controls – Programme B of Department Vote.

726,326

823,173

874,064

871,290

of which: Administration

Pay

50,035

52,103

53,389

55,144

Non Pay

17,253

18,600

19,094

21,097

Total Administration

67,288

70,703

72,483

76,241

Note on EAGF and EAFRD allocations and payments.

Ireland has an EU allocation of total 10.697bn for the programming period 2014-2020 (8.507bn for EAGF and 2.191bn for EAFRD).

EAGF

Of the €8.5billion Direct Payments allocation EU Regulation 1307/2013 sets out the annual Direct payment ceilings to apply for each of the financial years (circa €1.2billion) with 99% execution rate (see table). Additional to this, annual provisions are made for market measures and exceptional aid as per market demands.

The Direct payment ceilings set by the Commission are the maximum payment amounts allowable within the financial year. Where the ceiling has not been fully utilised, these amounts remain available to the Member States to pay applicants who subsequently become eligible for payment. Such payments are currently ongoing across all scheme years.

EAFRD

€2,190.5m has been allocated to Ireland from the European Agriculture Rural Development Fund for the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. The funding is for the full period of the programme and under the "N+3" rule expenditure up to 2023 is eligible to be claimed against the 2014-2020 allocation.

While the Rural Development Programme Financial Plan sets out an indicative allocation of approximately €313m for each of the 7 years 2014-2020, where expenditure in a year is less than the indicative allocation the amount available for subsequent years of the programme is increased accordingly. Thus, the extent of unspent EU funds is measured more accurately at the end of the programming period rather than on an annual basis

As of 31st December 2019, Ireland had expenditure incurred which attracted EAFRD funding of €1,650.1m which is an execution rate that is one of the highest in Europe.

In 2019, EAFRD funds claimed amounted to €338.6m vs an indicative allocation of €312.7m