Thursday, 5 February 2004

Ceisteanna (63)

Jim O'Keeffe

Ceist:

63 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if the full amount of beef premium due to a person (details supplied) in County Cork will issue; and if so, when. [3557/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

The person named lodged one application under the 2003 special beef premium scheme on 2 January 2003 in respect of 45 animals. The 80% advance payment of €4,248.00 which issued on 16 October 2003 was in respect of 34.2 animals. The 20% balancing payment of €1,386.00 together with the shortfall of €1,296.00 on the advance payment, will issue to the person named in late March or early April when the general balancing payments are scheduled to commence.

The shortfall in the advance payment of the person named came about for a number of reasons. The person named input three parcels of land on his 2003 area aid application in respect of 53.66 hectares. However, as the person named did not have the entitlement to claim one of the parcels, the area concerned was disallowed and appropriate penalties applied. Under EU rules, where an applicant makes an area overclaim of between 3% and 20% a penalty of double the difference must be applied in determining the area eligible for payment purposes. As the person named had an overclaim of between 3% and 20% this resulted in the eligible forage area found being reduced by twice the difference between the area declared and the area found resulting in an "adjusted area" of 41.21 hectares. The 80% advance payment of €4,248.00 that issued on 16 October 2003 was based on this "adjusted area".

However, EU regulations provide that where it is established that stocking density has not been exceeded, payment can be made on the basis of the area found rather than the "adjusted area". It has only now been possible to determine a final figure for stocking density for 2003 for the person named given that applicants are entitled to lodge special beef premium applications up to 31 December. This figure confirms that the stocking density has not been exceeded thus establishing entitlement to full payment on the 45 animals applied on.