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Grant Payments.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 March 2006

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Ceisteanna (312, 313, 314, 315, 316)

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

332 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when the remainder of the single farm payment will be awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11601/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Agriculture and Food)

An application under the single payment scheme/disadvantaged area compensatory allowance scheme was received from the person named on 16 May 2005. The application was randomly selected for an on the spot inspection covering area.

During the course of the inspection the total area of forage found was less than the area claimed. As the over-declaration was more than two hectares, the area found was reduced for payment purposes by twice the difference between the area found and the area claimed. The area was subsequently reduced for payment purposes to 18.63 hectares.

Payment of the reduced amount issued on 13 January 2006. If the person named is not satisfied with the result of the inspection she may seek a review by contacting the local office of my Department. She also has the right to appeal the outcome of any such review.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

333 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of farmers awaiting the single farm payment; the value of the payments owed to farmers; the value of single farm payment entitlements not drawn down in 2005; the breakdowns of these figures by county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11702/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The following table sets out the number of farmers in each county whose payments under the 2005 single payment scheme had issued by 21 March 2006. The number of applications with outstanding problems, which must be solved prior to payment, is also set out. Payments are continuing to issue to farmers as their applications are processed to completion, in accordance with the EU legislation governing the single payment scheme.

It is not possible at this stage to establish the value of entitlements for farmers, who are awaiting payment or a further supplementary payment. This is due to the fact that my Department is processing applications to transfer entitlements by way of inheritance or private contract clause which in many cases were only recently received. In some instances, farmers are still submitting such applications.

For the same reasons it is not possible to establish the value of the entitlements not claimed in 2005. My Department wrote to over 10,000 persons, who held entitlements but where no application for the single payment scheme was received by the final deadline of 10 June 2005. However, the receipt of the letter, which was issued to the persons in question by registered post, has resulted in many situations being clarified. In some cases, existing applicants have contacted my Department indicating that they inherited, purchased or leased the lands owned by the farmers who were allocated the entitlements. In other cases the entitlements were associated with a herd number for farmers, who submitted applications under the 2005 single payment scheme using a different herd number or where the details of the herd number were altered by a deletion or addition of a name. It will not be possible to establish the value of entitlements which were not applied on until all the applications for the measures referred to above are received and processed by the Department.

On the processing of applications under the single payment scheme, member states may commence payment on 1 December of the year of application, with payments being fully processed by the following 30 June. My priority in 2005, the first year of this new scheme, was to maximise the number of payments to eligible applicants by the earliest date possible of 1 December and I am satisfied that this was achieved. Since then, it has been my absolute priority to ensure that the issues that are holding up the remaining cases are resolved with the applicants concerned and that payments are made without undue delay. To this end, I have arranged that payments are issued on a regular basis as soon as the problems with the outstanding cases are resolved.

County

No. of SPS applicants paid up to the 21/03/06

No. of SPS applicants not yet cleared for payment

Carlow

1,705

24

Cavan

4,899

73

Clare

6,122

132

Cork

13,125

288

Donegal

7,871

109

Dublin

673

15

Galway

12,163

171

Kerry

7,668

131

Kildare

2,137

41

Kilkenny

3,560

64

Laois

3,034

52

Leitrim

3,414

52

Limerick

5,308

88

Longford

2,427

36

Louth

1,570

23

Mayo

11,571

164

Meath

3,870

59

Monaghan

4,053

70

Offaly

3,089

63

Roscommon

5,806

81

Sligo

4,022

53

Tipperary

7,144

131

Waterford

2,457

72

Westmeath

3,009

34

Wexford

4,231

86

Wicklow

2,133

42

Totals

12,7061

2,154

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

334 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the number of applicants awaiting a decision on the national reserve; the breakdown of such applicants by county; the value of the national reserve to be distributed; the reason for the delay in issuing the allocation; when payments will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11703/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The position is that some 17,500 farmers submitted applications to the national reserve but when account is taken of the number of farmers who applied under two or more categories over 23,000 files have to be processed.

The following table sets out the number of farmers per county who applied under national reserve some of whom applied under more than one category.

Number

Carlow

204

Cavan

649

Clare

1,151

Cork

1,886

Donegal

753

Dublin

73

Galway

1,601

Kerry

954

Kildare

230

Kilkenny

513

Laois

390

Leitrim

482

Limerick

731

Longford

637

Louth

156

Mayo

1,461

Meath

438

Monaghan

604

Offaly

399

Roscommon

852

Sligo

584

Tipperary

1,282

Waterford

355

Westmeath

384

Wexford

470

Wicklow

275

Total

17,514

While much work has been done in processing the vast majority of the applications, none of the applications has yet been processed to finality with national reserve allocations attributed. Some 11% of the applications received are still under query with the farmers concerned as my Department has sought additional information in support of their applications. Processing of all applications is continuing and the intention is to make allocations to successful applicants within the next two weeks.

The position is that Ireland's financial ceiling under the single payment scheme for 2005 was €1,260 million of which 3% —€37.8 million — had been provisionally set aside to fund the national reserve. The EU regulations require that where the sum of individual entitlements exceeds the financial ceiling, a percentage linear reduction must be applied in order to observe the ceiling. In Ireland's case, the cost of funding successful applicants under force majeure and new entrants during the reference period has meant that the sum of individual entitlements has exceeded our national ceiling by €15.1 million requiring a 1.18% linear reduction of all entitlements. This linear reduction will be accommodated within the 3% already deducted for the national reserve and the remaining 1.82% —€22.7 million — will be used to fund the national reserve.

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

335 Mr. Lowry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the status of an application for single farm payment for a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if full entitlements will be transferred from a previous herd number; when payment will be issued based on full entitlements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11727/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The person named and the joint owner of the herd number submitted a number of applications under different measures implemented under the single payment scheme in 2005, including applications to transfer entitlements by inheritance, to transfer entitlements from an associated herd number and to convert special condition entitlements to standard entitlements. Following the initial processing of these applications, payment amounting to €5,497.34 issued to the person named and the other joint owner of the herd number. In cases such as this where there are a variety of applications under separate measures, it is necessary to apply to transfer entitlements by inheritance at the end of the process. The inherited entitlements have now been transferred and a supplementary payment will be issued to the applicants by my Department shortly.

Paul McGrath

Ceist:

336 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the reason a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath has not been awarded the single farm payment; if she will expedite this payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11873/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The person named submitted a single payment application form on 12 May 2005 and was paid €358.24 in respect of entitlements established for the decoupled 2005 dairy premium. However, the applicant's now deceased mother established the remainder of the entitlements during the 2000 to 2002 reference period. As the person named did not submit an application form for the transfer of these entitlements into his name by way of inheritance, the appropriate application form has been sent to him. The case will be processed as quickly as possible when the completed form is submitted to my Department.

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