Written Answers. - Waste Management.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

22 Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the amendments he has made to the farm waste management scheme, as discussed at the partnership talks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18909/03]

The new partnership agreement sustaining progress provides, in the case of the farm waste management scheme, for an increase in the eligibility threshold from 200 to 450 income units and the investment ceiling from €50,790 to €75,000. These significant improvements to the scheme require European Commission approval and are likely to be considered in tandem with suggested changes that may emanate from current mid-term independent evaluations of the NDP and CAP plan.

It was also agreed that the standard costs used for the purposes of grant payments under the scheme would be revised. This has been done and the new costings are being introduced straight away. I am also pleased to be in a position to apply the revised costings to all approvals to commence work issued by my Department since 1 December 2002.