I appreciate the opportunity to present this request for a Supplementary Estimate for 2019. I am seeking the committee's approval for additional funds to contribute to the national funding element for the beef exceptional aid measure; approval to use savings on the Department's Vote to allow for extra expenditure for the green low-carbon agri-environment scheme, GLAS, and the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme, TAMS; to provide for an early payment to the World Food Programme; and for the addition of funding to my Department’s administrative budget for its share of the substantial expenditures undertaken on border control posts in the past year in preparation for Brexit. Taken together the additional funding allocations for subheads total some €82 million, which we propose to be funded by €19.4 million of additional voted funding, €22 million in savings across other subheads and €41 million in additional appropriations-in-aid. As these proposed transfers and expenditure involve significant changes to the original 2019 voted allocations, it is important to seek the committee's input and approval.
The various additional costs and the areas where savings have emerged reflect the dynamic uncertain environment in which the sector and Department have operated this year, most of which has been related either directly or indirectly to Brexit or, more particularly, the threat of Brexit. It was certainly not a business as usual year, but we have also done our usual business. It is a measure of the scale of the challenge that we have spent substantial public funds on new infrastructure, staff, IT systems and schemes to support our farmers in this difficult period. By the same token, the additional funds we are seeking for TAMS points to our farmers' resilience and deep commitment, and their readiness to invest in their own enterprises in the knowledge that improved safety and efficiency is vital in the more competitive environment we face, regardless of how Brexit plays out.
I will now outline proposed savings, starting with the payroll saving of €2 million. To date in 2019, a total of 426 people have joined or rejoined the Department and 215 have retired or moved to other employment. Despite this substantial increase in staff, there is a slight saving on the payroll - about 1% of the allocation - because a substantial part of it was in the last third of the year and was due to an intense focus on recruitment and organisation in preparation for Brexit activities. Savings of €2.5 million in the food safety, animal and plant health, and animal welfare areas reflects reasonably benign conditions in some areas. More specifically, the prudent provision funding on control of horses and measures for diseases other than tuberculosis, TB, will not be fully used. Also, the drawdown of funds set aside for the farmer payments for sheep electronic identification has been lower than provided.
In the other scheme subhead, there are total savings of €1 million available for redistribution because the provision set aside for the residual payments under the 2018 fodder schemes was not fully required. In the development and promotion of agriculture and food subhead there are savings of €4 million on the capital side and €2.9 million on the current side. An underspend arose as spend on lean reviews by food companies was substantially lower than projected and there was a very low demand for the capital investment incentive scheme. The specialist artisan food producer scheme had substantial numbers of approvals issued but a small portion of these have reached payment stage. There is a capital saving of €3 million within the Teagasc allocation where the provision for the national food innovation hub will be underused due to the delayed start to construction works, which has reduced capital drawdown.
In the other services subhead, a saving of €1.6 million has arisen mainly due to savings in our legal provisions. In the research, quality and certification subhead there will be a saving of €2.9 million. The 2019 provision was primarily required to meet funding commitments arising from expenditure incurred in previously awarded projects and for new commitments under the 2019 call that was launched in March but which had a lower than anticipated participation level.
There are savings of €1.6 million available in the fisheries subhead due mainly to timing of payments to be made in respect of multi-year projects under way in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, EMFF, marine biodiversity scheme and the blue growth and marine spatial planning scheme. There is also a saving of €500,000 available from the Marine Institute’s superannuation allocation.
Taken together, these €22 million in savings described are to be combined with additional gross provisions of just over €60 million to provide €32 million for farm schemes, €30 million for Brexit infrastructure and €20 million for the World Food Programme. I will describe these briefly. The €32 million extra to be provided for farm schemes would be distributed to the agri-environment schemes subhead for GLAS, the Department's subhead for TAMS and the beef sustainability schemes subhead for the beef exceptional aid measure, BEAM.
The BEAM was introduced to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland and is subject to the conditions set out in European Commission implementing regulation. The BEAM is funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support and is provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty. The scheme was designed to target aid to those who had been most impacted by the market disturbance for which it was requested. The final prepayment checks are still in progress but we envisage that up to €78 million will be paid, of which €28 million will be an Exchequer cost, and a very small part will fall into next year. I am seeking €18 million in additional funds and this will be complemented by other savings, mostly by €8 million from the other schemes within the beef sustainability scheme subhead, namely, the beef data and genomics programme, BDGP, and the beef environmental efficiency pilot, BEEP. While the BEEP participation levels were slightly lower than we had provided for, at 13,289 participants, it has had a very successful pilot year, which we intend to build on for next year.
The 2019 budgetary allocations for current expenditure under the agri-environment schemes amount to €228.25 million. The expenditure projections were based on paying schemes at the 75% advance rate set out in the EU regulatory framework. Owing to the difficult circumstances experienced by farmers, I made a request to the European Commission for approval for Ireland to pay a higher advance payment of 85% for Pillar 2 rural development schemes, which is allowed under EU regulations in exceptional circumstances. Accordingly, I am also requesting the committee's approval for funding of a further €7 million to ensure sufficient funding is available to pay a higher advance payment of 85% funding to all farmers who establish their eligibility under these schemes. At this point, we have already paid 43,000 participants their advance payment. This is the highest number of GLAS participants and the additional funding we seek will bring the number paid by the year end to about 45,200 participants, who we would envisage being eligible at year end.
On the capital side, I am heartened that despite all the challenges and uncertainties faced by the sector, participation in TAMS continues to grow and I am seek to allocate it an additional €7 million to allow for the continuation of payments of claims over the next few weeks because the €70 million funding for 2019 is now exhausted.
Apart from these farmer schemes, there is a need for substantial extra funding for the non-pay administration part of programme A. This is for border control posts, which arise in the context of Brexit. It reflects the requirement to have property and infrastructure to facilitate and support the movement of legitimate trade and carry out necessary sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, checks at ports on the basis of a disorderly withdrawal from the European Union by the United Kingdom. My Department is the lead tenant in most parts of the Dublin Port and Rosslare sites and has been assigned the largest proportion of the considerable costs involved, amounting to some €28.1 million in capital and €2.3 million in current expenditure. This is largely undertaken on our behalf by the Office of Public Works, OPW.
The other very important item is the additional €20 million allocation for the World Food Programme, which will allow for the earliest payment of next year’s commitment under Ireland’s strategic partnership agreement with the programme. This earlier disbursement is at the request of the World Food Programme’s executive director who has written to inform me that this funding will significantly contribute to enhance the programme's capability to plan its interventions and better address needs around the world.
My Department's appropriations-in-aid are set to be substantially greater in 2019 than provided for in the 2019 Revised Estimates Volume. We are seeking to offset some of our additional requests for funding against the €41 million of these extra receipts. These payments are from the European Commission and are the EU funding component for our co–funded rural development programme schemes. These are paid in arrears by the Commission, usually on a quarterly basis. The additional receipts reflect an underestimation of receipts in respect of advance payments made under the areas of natural constraint, ANC, in September. As this was not in our budgeted amount for the year, our 2019 receipts will be greater than planned.
This is a necessary, far-reaching and substantive Supplementary Estimate, which I earnestly recommend to the committee for support. I will be pleased to respond to any questions members may have.